It’s a bit past 5:30 on a Saturday evening, and in a corner booth of the velvet cocoon that is Champagne’s Cafe, talk has turned to extraterrestrials.
“I was convinced when I was a kid that aliens lived in my attic,” confesses Kate Outenreath, singer-guitarist in Vegas’ kind of surfy, totally garage-y, always hooky power trio The Seriouslys. “I had to go underneath the (attic’s) pull-down stairs to get in my room, and I would always run down the hall.”
And it didn’t stop there.
“The streetlights in my neighborhood reminded me of the original ‘War of the Worlds’ movie, where the zapper came out,” she continues, referring to the invaders’ laser-firing spacecraft. “So when I would lie in my bed and the miniblinds were open, I would see that streetlamp and I would just have these horrible nightmares.”
Outenreath’s childhood fears are more than just anecdotal — in a couple of ways, they inform what The Seriouslys do.
On a basic level, they manifest themselves in song, in this case, the exclamatory power pop of “Space Monsters Go!” from the band’s infectious, indefatigably fun new E.P. “Keepin’ It Shrill,” where the titular creatures are furry and brown instead of green and bulbous-eyed.
“I accidentally called that song ‘Space Monkeys’ the other day,” singer-bassist Krystal Hawkins says with a chuckle, recalling her understandable faux pas.
On a broader level, The Seriouslys are all about a deliberately cartoonish catharsis where real-life concerns become defanged in far-out singalongs.
“Music is my therapy, so sometimes I write silly songs to make me feel better about the bad things,” says Outenreath, her purple bangs as colorful as her band’s tunes. “I want to write music that’s upbeat and fun and is somewhat comical so that maybe it can make somebody else laugh and feel better if they’re having a bad day.”
To this end, “Keepin’ It Shrill” could double as bad day repellent, with all three bandmembers trading vocals, sometimes singing in unison, their voices alternately sweet and knife-sharp. Their tunes register instantaneously, like an inhaled stimulant, balancing buoyancy with bite, the latter coming namely in Outenreath’s nasty, serrated guitar tone.
“Shrill,” the band’s second release, is the first to feature drummer Dominque Labonte, who has both provided, and in turn received, a fresh burst of energy to the band.
“I had actually walked away from music for a while,” she says. “I had to come to this place where I was like, ‘I’m not going to play again until I meet the right people.’ ”
On this day, she sits alongside those people, having discovered a band that was — and is — worth discovering.
Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0476. Follow on Twitter @JasonBracelin.