Though infused with the rambling inclusiveness of indie Americana (cellos, harmonicas, multiple percussionists) Streetlight People is, at heart, a garage band. Singer and guitarist Fletcher Reveley has mastered the soulful garage-rocker's knowing rasp and goofy enunciation, the smidge of spooky depth and the diphthonged vowels that are the legacy of Sky Saxon and Eric Burdon.
The majority of the songs follow a sort of patternless pattern of shifting tempo and instrumental layering, held together by Reveley's world-weary ranting. On "They Don't Know" this scheme works to perfection, while other songs are merely good. The cowpunk quickie "This Hate" provides a nice change of pace and reminds us how much more Streetlight People could offer, if they decide to stick around a while.
Rumor has it the band will make its last appearance at this year's Total Fest. On the other hand, we've heard that before. This is a band constantly on the eve of destruction, but Missoula just won't let it die. On Supergaze, a good chunk of the local rockerati lends a hand, including all-around cowboy Shmed Maynes on piano and organ. Supergaze leaves you with the sense of a band just hitting its stride. If this is their last gasp, I'll be sad.
Streetlight People plays Total Fest at the Palace Friday, Aug. 20, at 9:30 PM.