the heligoats [2009]

Bottom of the Hill
San Francisco, CA
8 April 2009

The Heligoats started with a story about feeling so nervous and anti-social at a party as to seek out bottles of cooking oil, get naked, pour said oil on oneself, climb into the heating ducts, crawl around and listen to peoples’ conversations.

I could not make this up.

Thankfully, The Heligoats’ music is as entertaining as their lyrics, a kind of acoustic folk punk. Very rhythmic. Very rough. Somewhere between The Mountain Goats and Eef Barzelay.

Which, of course, makes sense, seeing as how they opened tonight for Barzelay and Clem Snide. Can’t imagine it’s a complete coincidence. Close your eyes and Chris Otepka’s voice could easily be mistaken for Barzelay’s.

In fact, it’s not just the voice and the music. Their lyrics are just as witty and the delivery just as comically well-timed. Several times, Otepka’s description of the song they were about to play was even funnier than the lyrics themselves. One might think suicidal porn stars would be a tough subject matter to laugh at, but Otepka made it happen.

I think these guys listened to a lot of Clem Snide in their formative years.

All of these similarities did nothing to take away from their set. It was absolutely fantastic. If anything, a tribute to all that makes Clem Snide great.