Everest debuts new songs in strong First Fridays set



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You’re never too old for a growth spurt. At least, that’s what you could have divined from the first hometown show in five months by L.A. quintet Everest.

The band of thirtysomethings – whose sophomore album “On Approach” is due April 20 – on Friday night traversed moments convulsive to tender during a 45-minute set at the monthly First Fridays event at the Natural History Museum. Seven of the new album’s 11 songs made it into the evening’s setlist, and while a couple threatened to get lost in the echo-laden Hall of Mammals, the fivesome’s confident take on indie-Americana prevailed.

While adhering mostly to their traditional-rock roots, Everest’s new songs sounded like more than just comfort food for revivalists, thanks mainly to sprawling arrangements (at times devastatingly played) and greater emotional range from singer Russell Pollard. The deliriously squalid guitars on “I’ve Had This Feeling Before” and “House of 9’s” might make their Vapor Records chief Neil Young smile; “Keeping the Score” stirs the pot with handclaps; and, at turns, the more meditative “East Illinois,” “Tall Buildings” and “Fallen Feather” shimmer and quaver. The exclamation point to the set was “Let Go” (currently getting airplay on KCRW), an almost Modest Mouse-sounding entreaty that’s distinctive for Eli Thomson’s perambulant bass line.

Headlining act Deer Tick was more bar band than buzz band, right down to the backwards baseball cap worn by frontman John McCauley – who did, however, reveal that he has completed work on a side project with members of Dawes and Delta Spirit.