Music review and promotion in central Indiana and surrounding areas since 2013

Five Year Mission

As always when reviewing a cover band or tribute band, I must inevitably submit a disclaimer of some sort: This review submitted with no guarantee there won’t be puns or Star Trek references.  An attempt not to do so would be perhaps... futile? - ;)

What would you say if I told you there were five like-minded fans of Star Trek TOS? That’s ‘The Original Series’ for the unversed in the universe.  No big stretch right?

What if I told you those five guys all liked to play music? Still...not a far stretch given the sheer numbers of the fan base for that particular franchise.

Now...what if I told you that they loved Star Trek and music so much that they wrote songs, quite literally, about each episode of the beloved original sci-fi series?

I speak the truth.  I do. - :)

Fitting that I write this review today.  Eighty-four years ago today, William Shatner was born.  Equally of note, Leonard Nimoy passed just a little over three weeks ago.  So it’s cosmic if you will, that we should catch these guys doing a local set at a previously unexplored venue - Carnahan Hall.

Additionally, I would like to congratulate any band who has a strong web presence such as I found with Five Year Mission.  Usually I have to dig through the web with fury to find any real reference material.  These guys, presumably because it’s a band full of Techie Trekkies, are all over the web.  Well done guys.

A wonderfully original band!  In spite of their tribute band appearance, they arrived with a significant catalogue of original tunes.  I’m pretty sure I only heard one cover - The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins -

I picked up their first album - Year One - from the merch table, and am enjoying it now as I write this review. -

Initial influences I detected landed somewhere near Weezer, The Cure, and the Ramones.  Two out of three ain’t bad huh? -

As their set progressed, I was continually wowed by the bridge work.  Those of you that know me, know what a fan I am of the clean bridge work of a hard working band.  Crisp, clear changes.  Hard, strong and original intros, and a bass line that wouldn’t quit.  Dug that.

Equally impressive was their fan base.  Not only did there appear to be a regularly loyal fan base present, but they all appeared to know the words to every song.  That may seem inclusive to you.  But I’ve seen many in fandom who couldn’t claim the same.  How many local (Indianapolis) bands can claim that?

Great energy, great crowd energy.  Shields down! (shameless I know…)

As if all that wasn’t enough, I heard four distinct lead vocalists.  They also changed instruments several times.  Each member playing at least two instruments on different songs.  I love that kind of diversity!

Favorite song of the night:

The Naked Time - Fifth track down - The Naked Time

With a unique shortened breakdown between lines of the same verse, this song was my favorite of the night.  Most bands, especially those who are queuing up shortcuts to quick tunes, will lip a verse in 4/4, then any breakdowns mid-stanza become ‘double (or repeated) breakdowns’.  Not this group.  They swung up a note for a short breakdown between additional verses in the same stanza.  That simple change up shows maturity in writing, and isn’t lost on this reviewer.

Favorite lyric of the night:

“Time travel backward
That might prove useful in a future episode”

Favorite quote of the night: “If I took off my shirt it would still look like I had a sweater on.” (para)
The Five Year Mission crew line-up taken from artist’s page are: -

Noah Butler – Guitar/Bass/Keys/Vocals/Songwriter
-Noah, great vocal range dude!

Andy Fark – Percussion/Songwriter
-Andy, pausing here to give you a well deserved title of the best ‘frontman’ ever to sit in the back. -Also, the irony of the red shirt wasn’t lost on me.
-Finally dude, please don’t ever get electronic drums... - :)

Patrick O’Connor – Guitar/Bass/Keys/Vocals/Songwriter
-Patrick, what a great smile!
-And that guitar was crisp and clean...crisp and clean - :)

Mike Rittenhouse – Guitar/Bass/Keys/Vocals/Songwriter
-Mike, never cut your hair man…
-Also, I was diggin the strong, distinct bass lines - love that!

Chris Spurgin – Guitar/Bass/Keys/Vocals/Songwriter
-Chris, many of these songs did you write by chance?

Well done guys.

Five Year Mission...LLAP,


p.s. - Thanks to the unnamed fan who corrected my Vulcan hand sign.  Pointing out to me that I was incorrectly, pulling my thumb in.  And I call myself a Trekkie. -