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“More pushing and shoving”

High school band Ted Bunny proves there’s still a good punk show to see in Seattle

Elliot Bailey, A&E editor
Originally published October 24, 2014

Elliot Bailey

Ted Bunny’s next show will be on Halloween at the same venue, the Salmon Bay Eagles Club.

“I’m six types of ready,” said drummer Mitchell Bowen, looking to lead singer Avery Davis. “Avery, how many types of ready are you?”

“I’m seven types of ready,” Davis said.

Bowen and Davis, both Ballard students, are waiting for nine o’clock, when, alongside guitarist Bella Brockman and bassist Kellen Reeder, they’re scheduled to play.

It’s only Ted Bunny’s second show and honestly it’s pretty good. It was, distinctly, a punk show.

You get the impression that here, at the Salmon Bay Eagles Club, where plastic streamers shimmer and hang from office-like ceiling panels and neon beer signs illuminate a long bar, that this is where the old Ballard salties come to drink and talk about the sea.

But while the stage was a bit small and sound was at times a skosh iffy, the band had no problem affecting atmosphere once they started playing.

This is important to say of Ted Bunny. Without addressing anything else, they put on a show and made sure that the audience was having fun. Reeder was constantly off-stage, head banging to his own rhythms, sometimes whipping the neck of his bass around too quickly for an audience member to get out of the way, but everyone was ultimately fine and feeling the songs.

Davis started the show in the audience, crashing into a friend, one of a few that would continue to spark bouts of moshing the rest of the night.

“Hey, if there were more people up in front, pushing and shoving,” Davis said looking out to most of his audience, backed up behind the zone where people had started to mosh, “that would really make my night.”

Even from afar though, the band didn’t fail to perform for their show-goers. It was kind of phenomenal how together their stage presence was for only their second performance and Bowen was fully prepared to watch his cymbal be destroyed as Davis cracked it open with a slap from a mic stand.

Showmanship aside, it was all certainly beyond just good intentions. Bowen did a good job of holding it down on drums–for the most part–and at a tempo which eventually caused his hand to bleed.

Davis’ lyricism can be credited as beyond skin deep aggression and poorly professed nihilism. You could justly qualify it as beyond that of the average high school punk band.

Davis says Nick Cave is an influence on his writing, which is congruent thematically, but seems a vague connection at times. Be it the fast tempos and brevity of Ted Bunny’s songs or that Davis is just still growing –both are probably true to some extent– some lyrics fall short of their aspirations. This is not to say that any are haltingly bad, but rather the pitfalls of classic poetic dramatism — and maybe what is a token punk cynicism–make it so there is sometimes a lot of rough to sort through between diamonds in Davis’ lyrics.

Ted Bunny will return to the Salmon Bay Eagles Club for their next show this Halloween.

Everyone’s looking for a good Friday night. I found one at the Ted Bunny show, a promising precursor of what may come of a local high school punk band. And while sometimes they’d rush, mostly it was awesome: good songs, good show and a night well spent.

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“More pushing and shoving”