Imagine a tiny room packed with 100 people. Imagine those people jumping up and down as if they were trying to separate the floor from the four walls around them. Imagine kids in white, pink and blue lights bracing themselves against a wobbly oscillating fan attached to a low hanging ceiling above them just to crowd surf, even during slow songs. Finally, add into the ether of this picture in your head the proverbial blood, sweat and tears it took to make it all happen and you can understand why the four guys holding instruments in front of this crowd were stuck smiling this past Saturday.
On Jan. 14, the San Antonio based band Booty Feet played this show to celebrate the release of their first self-titled six-song EP.
For the three mainstay members of the group, Jakob Rau (bass), Luke Mitchell (drums) and Noah Escamilla (guitar and vocals), the ecstatic response burgeoning out from the crowd as they settled into the melody of their opening song was cathartic proof their work horse ethic hadn’t been in vain.
Starting in the morning and often finishing after sunset, they meticulously tracked and retracked in Mitchell’s DIY home studio over five months, each member one at a time, bar by bar until by consensus, it sounded right.
As the songs gradually came together, usually with one band member looking drowsy cushioned on the turquoise leather couch in the room, song names and inside jokes naturally eked themselves out.
The EP’s online cover art, a picture of Mitchell’s passed out dog Houdini, the band’s mascot, suits Booty Feet’s unassuming lore: they’re a no frills band comprised of three friends who laugh together and trash talk each other through the arduous process of making music that is 100 percent their own.
In many small ways, the band uses their creative autonomy in an effort to be real with you. The song “Scotty Pippin” is about booty friend Mark Burton hiking up his basketball shorts a la the famous Chicago Bulls player as an impromptu Halloween costume this year. “Birdhouse” is the band’s most nostalgic track, taking them back to their origins at Vapure, a shop off Grissom Road, where they practiced after hours and polished their first song.
As a finished product, the EP is laden with the retraceable foot steps it took to get to Saturday, and made being there for the crescendo all the more special for the band and crowd.
“Seeing people so hyped about us was unreal,” Mitchell said about looking up from the drum kit, seeing the room shake with smiling faces. However, for his part, even in the shock of it, Rau said he knew they would do great. “I had enough confidence in us. We worked so hard.”
Musically, Booty Feet is an indie band with great pop sensibility. Rau’s bass playing is big and keeps the pace perfectly, Mitchell’s zen drumming is technical, but controlled and tasteful, and Escamilla’s vocals have hearty warm timbre, range and a goose-bump quality when you least expect it. Amalgamate it and there’s real charm in the synergy of these talents. The EP is seriously good.
You can find Booty Feet’s music at bootyfeet.bandcamp.com and follow the band’s activity on Facebook.