The Oberlin Review
<< Front page Arts December 8, 2006

Homegrown Fest Features New Lazer-Sharp Trio

Oberlin’s newest power trio, Lazerwolf, premiered last Thursday night at the ’Sco’s Homegrown Music Fest. Their uncommon approach to rock was refreshing, as was their lineup, made up of three energetic musicians: sophomore Tom Fosnocht on keyboard and vocals, junior Nate Levin on bass and senior Jared Twenty on drums and occasional backup vocals. Lazerwolf wasted no time showing the audience that they were all about having fun.

Despite their preference to turn up the volume and pump the audience full of rock beats and chest-vibrating bass lines, Lazerwolf’s instrumentation lent itself to a natural clarity that loud student bands tend not to have. The trio setting in popular music, although mostly out of style these days, can still be pulled off, and Lazerwolf’s broad coverage of sound (particularly Levin’s electronic effects) was enough to prove just that.

“Our guitar-less instrumentation allows us to experiment with our arrangements to bring more focus on the bass and piano as both harmonic and melodic instruments,” said Lazerwolf.

Levin added, “As a bassist, I love to have the freedom to fill out the gaps in the sound that I was once denied because of the presence of a guitarist.”

One downside to a smaller group is the magnification of mistakes, but for a debut show the group was already tightly knit. Twenty was solid and smooth with great taste and technique, guiding the music by the reins and plowing right through any mishaps coming from the front line (which were few). Drummers can make or break a group easily, but Lazerwolf is destined for greater popularity with such a confident and reliable musician behind the kit.

Lazerwolf described their music as “an alternative style of pop rock; well-crafted and dance-able, while still staying true to our rock roots.” Their set was balanced with not only recognizable covers but also originals, all of which were composed by Fosnocht.

The band decribed their original tunes playfully: “Take equal parts Ben Folds and Elton John, add a pinch of Muse, and other classic, pop and alternative rock groups, two shots of tequila, put in a blender and serve on ice.”

Loveable and charismatic on stage, Lazerwolf loves to perform.

“It’s not often that Connies get to rock out. Lazerwolf breaks that tradition, and I’m excited to be a part of it,” Twenty reported.

Most who experienced the group agreed on at least two things: the name “Lazerwolf” is an instant classic, and nobody knows its roots or intentions. Simply, it all comes down to their mascot, Herschel the Wolf, who appears on their posters.

“Herschel the Wolf shoots laser beams out of his eyes,” explained Fosnocht. Absolutely classic.

Lazerwolf’s set-topper came with their cover of “Under the Sea,” the memorable Caribbean-esque tune from The Little Mermaid.

The crowd was more than happy to sing along to such a familiar tune, helping push the trio’s performance energy right to the edge.


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