After nearly a semester-long hiatus, one of Colgate’s most popular up-and-coming bands was able to reunite last weekend for a well-attended and energetic show in Syracuse. After turning down a previous gig there over last year’s Spring Party Weekend, Earthman Embassy played a packed show at Funk N’ Waffles, a coffee bar in Syracuse on January 24.
Earthman Embassy found its origins in George Zeitler and Ben Taylor, both juniors, who met their freshman year while playing open mic nights at the Barge. Upon recognizing the potential behind their casual jam sessions, they added more members to the band, including sophomore Tommy Crocker on drums and junior Jerry Padow, currently filling in for Michael Petersen on the bass. The band was originally called “24-Hour Miracle,” because of their scramble to organize a band to open for Harry and the Potters last year with only 24-hour notice. Their current moniker derives both from the band members’ interest in the environment and the moving and inspirational experience of driving past an Embassy Suites in New Jersey.
Initially the group performed mostly covers, such as renditions of “Fat-Bottomed Girls” by Queen and “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap. However, it is their original material that has made them such an underground hit on campus, including such fan-favorites as “Rocketship” and the slower-paced “Nothing To Anyone.”
It is a consensus amongst the group members that no one knows quite what to compare Earthman Embassy to. Their keyboard use is reminiscent of Ben Folds, but with a down-to-earth, accessible twist. George Zeitler can only describe their sound as “zesty,” adding that “the band isn’t trying to emulate anyone.” Their individual inspirations range from blues (an influence, Ben Taylor claims, that can especially be heard in the guitar solos) and funk to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and TV On The Radio.
Earthman Embassy currently has released one CD that they’ve recorded on campus, but Colgate students can expect more in the near future. The band plans on recording new tracks that explore a more “complex sound, especially vocally.” They’ll be playing more shows in the future, including a show to watch for on February 28 at the Barge.
When asked how easy it has been for Earthman Embassy to break into the Colgate music scene, Taylor could only reply “What Colgate music scene?” Their biggest obstacle seems to be a general student apathy towards leaving the dorm and trekking to the Barge to watch a show. However as Earthman Embassy begins to pick up more momentum and exposure, one would hope that students would get off their butts and come out to see them. Entertainment is a guarantee with a unique brand of quintessential college rock full of zest.
For more on Earthman Embassy, check out their Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/earthmanembassy.