I wish I could figure out what Phil Collins—or is it Genesis?— guitar riff Floater apes on "Leave a Light On." No matter. It's curious, though, that while listening to Wake I think of Phil, one of the most disrespected dudes to ever sell 150 million records.
If you don't know, Floater is a big deal throughout the Pacific Northwest to its many, many fans, but to Portland's music literati they are nothing more than a common bar band. This is not a fair assessment. Yes, the trio definitely lacks an original sound—wha ever that is— other than that of so many variant 1990s rock bands. As I listened to Wake, I heard the cheezy ska of The Offspringon "Wondering," the "Classic Girl" jangle of Jane's Addiction on "White Dress," the white boy funk-metal of Pyschefunkapus on "You Taught Me." But I also heard an earnest vocalist who recklessly lets it rip with wonderfully throaty bellows, a band that has obviously played together for more than 15 years, and shameless vocal hooks that would make creepy old Paul McCartney grin and flutter his eyelashes.
Being Phil Collins turned out pretty good for Phil Collins, maybe it will for Floater, too.
Floater plays the Top Hat Monday, Oct. 4, at 10 PM, with openers Dead Me Downs. Cover TBA.