Musically this band is on solid footing. Ammon Chaikram provides the grounding needed from the bass but adds some jump as well. He’s also a decent drummer, a point that probably strengthens his skills as a timekeeper. Maxx Cabajar does more than just play a guitar. He strives to make the instrument do things that are out of the ordinary and often succeeds beautifully. Chloe Kendel is a superb young drummer, literally one of the best this writer’s seen in some time. Her technical skills are excellent and she’s an imaginative player but that’s only part of what she offers. Her work has a graceful fluidity that can’t be taught. Transitions from beat to fills and back again are so smooth and so natural it’s almost as if she’s a conduit for what the drums feel should be expressed.
A large part of their catalogue was from the mid 1990’s so it was only passingly familiar to older members of the audience. It didn’t matter though because they made the experience of hearing those songs an interesting one that primed listeners nicely for their renditions of some classics. CCR’s ‘Fortunate Son’ drew a round of applause that had everyone smiling and their rendition of ‘Wipe Out’ was breathtaking. That also featured a moment that was both sweet and intimate when [drummer] Chloe told a trio of young children they were about to go surfing while the kids insisted there was no way. Maxx leaned down on his pedals at one point and came up with a stretch of feedback that paid tribute to the days when Pete Townshend and Jimi Hendrix were learning what could be done and producing something different each time out.
With the senior citizen in their group being just seventeen it’s safe to refer to Noise Pollution as a young band. Things like the quirks of teenaged voices (which enjoy doing things on their own at the worst possible moments) and inexperience with setting up sound systems were noticeable. Their core is solid though and what they can build from it is what matters. They’re a band and not just three musicians playing together, which makes a big difference. Lead guitarist, and their lead singer on most numbers, Maxx, listens very closely to the foundation provided by his band mates, delivers his parts according to what’s laid out and does not lose their threads. Bassist Ammon Chaikam combines melodic sensibility with solid timekeeping to hold up his end and drummer Chloe Kendel ties their work together with a sense of effortlessness that became more and more impressive as the evening progressed.
It was a lot of fun, and, thanks in part to the fact that a lot of their friends were there to show support, had one of the best crowds that’s turned up for a First Friday in some time. More of that is needed.
CLICK HERE for more photos of Noise Pollution taken by Brian Hay.