The stable of bands under the Gentle Edward Records label continues to grow and prosper through its shared interests and the benefits of cross-promotion.
Founder Devin Alexander quickly dismisses the term “label,” though.
“Big bold quotes around lowercase smaller font,” he said, laughing.
“It’s less a label and more a collective of bands,” he said. “That’s probably more accurate to say, but nobody knows what you mean when you say, ‘We’re a collective of bands.’ ”
Three Gentle Edward bands — The Post Mortems, PermaSmile and Boomstick! — will play a label showcase Saturday night at the Rock Island Brewing Company.
“This show this weekend just sort of fell into our laps,” Alexander said. With interest from Ben Prewitt from Boomstick! and PermaSmile, the decision was made to fill an open date at Ribco.
The genesis of the label developed as area musician Alexander began incorporating side projects and developing relationships with other up-and-coming Quad-City bands.
“I just wanted a flag to put it all under,” he said. “Originally it was just my stuff. It was just an excuse to start a Bandcamp page and put it up there.”
The collective grew by adding Q-C bands Dynoride, Satellite Heart, Last Glimpse and My Pal Trigger.
“We’re not really providing anything, but I’m perpetually posting and sharing all of the gigs for the label. And they (the bands) are doing likewise for the other bands on the label,” Alexander said.
“We sort of lift everybody up,” he added. “The reason that it works so well is that none of the bands are the same genre, none of the bands have the same sound.”
The label does supply some record possibilities thanks to Alexander, John Taylor from Dynoride and Jeffrey Loder from The Last Glimpse, but Alexander doesn’t offer much in the way of producing overall except for advice and suggestions.
“We just put mics up, try to make it sound good and hit record,” he said.
The Post Mortems
Alexander and Al Raymond developed a distinct sound relying on drum and bass, plus an array of effects to fill things out.
Influenced by 1990s alternative rock, the duo distances itself heavily from those genres, delving instead into sludgy industrial tunes, jazz structures and pop rock.
“We go from what you would think of as bass, drums and vocals, like almost a jazz sound, all the way up to we’ll get super-heavy and sludgy. We try to have a lot of dynamic within each individual song and within the set,” Alexander said in a February Go&Do interview.
Utilizing a stripped-down garage sound, the band dabbles in psychedelic rock, with a mix of Black Keys, Pink Floyd and White Stripes.
A RIBCO Battle of the Bands appearance last year helped launch Permasmile onto the Quad-City music scene.
Lead guitarist Chad Ramsey, 40, of East Moline, began playing with bassist John Neihaus. The duo put an ad on the Internet and found Shane Quade (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), who recently moved to the Quad-Cities. John Chapman (drums) played in previous bands with Ramsey, and Heat (keys and backing vocals) and Neihaus were friends.
“It’s like older friends and newer friends meeting up to play some good music,” Ramsey said.
“It worked out good. We didn’t have to go through a bunch of different people to try different musicians at once. We just knew some people, and everybody is in the right place at the right time.”
After starting during high school, the band played house parties in Tipton, Iowa, from 2006 to ‘09.
Guitarist Ben Prewitt, 29, grew up listening to 1950s country and ‘80s punk, influencing his and Boomstick’s grunge, punk and alt-country sound. Dan Lukenbill transitioned from the band’s bassist to drums.
“It’s a family,” Prewitt said of the Good Edward label. “Me and Devin, Boomstick! and Post Mortems have been doing things for a very, very long time. Our musical influences are different, but we’ve got the same personalities. We mesh.
“It’s very symbiotic. While someone is lacking in one ability, someone will pick that up,” he said. “If you look hard enough within the group, someone is going to know how to do something you can’t. That’s kind of the point: mutual support.”