Year of the mongoose
In 2019, can four Lincoln rockers leap higher than the cousin of the cat?
Inside a practice room, the markings of an ambitious rock band hang near a shirtless portrait of Bruce Lee in sunglasses. On the white board: Get a van. Finish the debut album. Film a music video. Release the holiday song. “Only play dope shows.”
The Sounds of Sacramento rehearsal space is where Flight Mongoose pushes its music career forward. Vying for spots in local and Bay Area music festivals, and recording a promising DIY LP, the four Lincoln rockers want 2019 to count.
“This is gonna be the year where we really start trying to get out there,” says guitarist Parker Hill.
First order of business: Noise Pop. As of December 28, Flight Mongoose stood neck-and-neck for first place by popular vote for a slot during the week-long Bay Area indie music fest. Should the band win, it will share the stage with rising artists Beirut, Bob Mould and Princess Nokia in February. Voting ends on January 14 at dothebay.com.
But if Flight Mongoose misses out on Noise Pop, it’s safe to say Noise Pop would also miss out on Flight Mongoose. Check out its 2017 EP, Peach Fuzz, and bask in youthful, uplifting pop-rock, a classic sound pushed forward by 20-somethings who grew up on AC/DC, ’90s grunge, ’80s thrash metal and analog music.
“People tell us, ’Man, you guys remind us of some 40-year-old men in younger bodies,’” drummer Leo Calderon says.
Vocalist Trevor Carman sports slick rock ’n’ roll pipes in “I Wanna Know,” a recent single about wanting to get the hell out of the house and drive your parent’s car. Band members say they’ll continue to expand their sound with the new untitled LP, slated for February or March.
Carman wrote most of the old songs in high school, so the themes are appropriately adolescent. With the new album, recorded and produced by bassist Carlos Andres Sanchez, Flight Mongoose wades into mature territory without abandoning the parade.
The band recorded the EP at J Street Recorders, owned by Brian Wheat of Tesla, and the result was a well-produced set of songs that cost a lot of money. With the LP, the band is hoping to make a record on a shoestring budget that propels them out of Sacramento.
“We’re trying to make the best DIY album that we can without having to pay so much for studio time,” Carman says. “Maybe get some attention from a label that doesn’t screw us over.”
Flight Mongoose has come a long way since Lincoln High School, where the four met in music classes and were the campus jammers. They stayed in touch after graduation, and the stars aligned when they discovered they were all still seriously making music.
“Everybody’s story just lined up,” Sanchez says.
Since then, they performed a televised gig on ABC 10, at the local arts weekend First Festival this year and won a 2018 SAMMIE, SN&R’s annual music award, in the indie rock category.
That’s just the prologue for these would-be pro-rockers, who work full-time but want to play music for a living. If all of their applications go well, 2019 could be a year of only dope shows: South By Southwest in March, Picnic Day in April, Concerts in the Park over summer and City of Trees in September.
“It’s full force: band, band, band. Straight up,” Hill says.