Sensory Overload: Red Feathers still freaky in (possible) final stand

Andy Downing, Columbus Alive

In a summer 2014 interview, Red Feathers guitarist Ian Mausoleum summed up the band's larger-than-life aesthetic, saying, "We all strive to be something else when we're making music."

"You don't have to be a guy who works in a store or a guy who delivers pizzas when you're onstage," he continued. "You can be freaky."

Fittingly, the band let its freak flag fly during a recent Wednesday concert at Ace of Cups - potentially the quartet's last-ever local show with singer the Pink Owl set to depart for Michigan in the coming weeks (post-show questions about the crew's future essentially elicited the Magic 8-Ball response "Reply Hazy, Try Again Later") - which kicked off with the frontman unleashing the kind of maniacal laughter most commonly associated with either Batman villain the Joker or the intro to the Surfaris' "Wipeout."

Rather than looking backwards, however, much of Feathers' half-hour set centered on a just-completed new album, which finds the band continuing to embrace its provocative image. "I only want a little reaction!" howls the Pink Owl near the onset of the recording, an attitude that was reflected in his wardrobe choices on this evening: sunglasses, a bathrobe and a sensible pair of women's shoes.

The characters in the band's songs frequently embraced a similar sense of individualism. "She looks like she gets what she wants out of life," the Pink Owl growled on one number, nodding to a kindred spirit.

For all its enjoyable eccentricities, however, Feathers' music is generally built on a concrete foundation, owing a debt to classic rockers like Thin Lizzy and Aerosmith (think Rocks, not "Cryin'"), as well as timeless metal bands like Judas Priest - an influence that bled over into the delirious, flame-throwing "Worship the Devil."

The riffs, in turn, fell like guillotine blades and revved like car engines, while drummer Blake Pfister pounded his kit with such force that his snare drum tapped out just two songs in (fortunately another band on the bill came through with a loaner). It's an energy that carried through to the final song, where the Pink Owl sang "I want to love you forever" as the band locked in for one final (?) spin around the room.