[FRESH CLASSIC] Can a rose by any other name smell as sweet? The trio formerly known as Wet Confetti—a moniker one journalist described as "likely to convince listeners you're washed up"—aims to find out. While the previous name was sure to be the only thing netted in a "wet confetti" Google search, it also yielded limited results in terms of ink. "If there was a review of an album, they wouldn't even talk about the music," says lead singer Alberta Poon. "They'd rip apart the band name and then end it."
But Reporter isn't just a name change—it's a new project. The once art-rock band wanted to adopt a new sound—a feat none of its members thought they'd fully achieve under the same name. Indeed, a fresh-yet-classic, guitar- and melody-driven sound has emerged. Reporter became an outlet to "start focusing more on songs [and] having a stripped-down setup," says drummer Mike McKinnon from behind horn-rimmed glasses. Rather than jamming and creating songs in a freestyle manner, Poon and guitarist Dan Grazzini now write on their own and flesh things out during rehearsal. Reporter has also allowed Grazzini to drop the keyboard he carted around with Wet Confetti and pick up more vocal duties. Though Poon and company say Wet Confetti isn't necessarily dead, its angular math-rock is certainly in the rearview for the moment.
Just a few months after playing its final Wet Confetti shows, Reporter joined the Thermals for a monthlong North American tour armed with only 10 songs, Stephen Hawking's latest in audio format and an appetite for burgers (which the East Coast's beef recall temporarily hampered). According to the spunky Poon (who readily admits she's the "first to fight"), antics most definitely ensued: From an incident of "shotguns and rockers" here in Oregon to a Vancouver, B.C., thrift store where a man physically backed into Poon before she and Grazzini were challenged to a showdown, to the drunken American Chopper-host lookalike they encountered in Eugene—Reporter has more than a few stories under its belt.
Such drama—plus a decade-melding sound that embodies the heydays of both CDs and 8-tracks—ought to give folks more to chew on than a simple name. As Poon says, "You couldn't just talk about the band name!" Then again, I'm sure those clever reporters will come up with something.
Reporter plays Saturday, Dec. 8, with Swim Swam Swum and Typhoon at the Artistery. 8 pm. $6. All ages.