Local musicians serve "Suck-a-tash" at the Ballard Firehouse

Suck-a-tash by Jeff Switzer
Breaking out of the suburban music scene and bursting into Ballard is "Suck-a-tash," a raucous group of college and working class stiffs that need to play music like most people need food and water.
   A Woodinville/Bothell-based band, Suck-a-tash is anchored by drummer Sean "Skip" Clark, a 1991 Bothell High graduate, and guitarist Pat Nelson, a 1990 escapee from Woodinville High.
   Their gig at the Ballard Firehouse on Nov. 29 was their first, with more shows in the works in December.
   Torn between a mix of funky rhythms, bluesy guitar, and their frenetic riffs, it's time this band has graduated to the neon beer-sign plateau.
   Clark is masterful on the drums, yanking the crowd out of their seats with the band's mainstays "Feeling Darker" and "Breathing Out Loud." Cue man in a tumultuous sea of dischord, Clark pushes the envelope.
   "I have a poet's heart and a drummer's lack of fashion sense," Clark said.
   Nelson is bouncy-backwards-hat-Pat, rockin' double-time and hypnotizing on the band's most introspective song, "Inside My Head."
   Singer Colin Bush is the newest member, completing the five-piece band. As he reworks and molds with the band, the crowd feels it as the lyrics are torn from his body.
   Guitarist Mike Hogenhaur and bassist Rob Vullo (from Redmond) mix and match the colorful drudgery that backs Bush's somber lyrics.
   The band started out with the name "Aggressive Panhandlers," but recently were inspired by the play on the corn-and-lima-beans dish.
   Except for Bush, who hails from a string of East Coast bands, the band has been making music for a little more than two years.
   Clark and Nelson are proud of their first show. "It was cool," Nelson said. "Everybody got up, started dancing, really getting into it. I never thought our first gig would be at the Firehouse."
   "Suck-a-tash" is playing at the China Club (formerly the New World Cafe) on Dec. 4; Club Broadway Dec. 7; the Off-Ramp Dec. 17; and again at the Ballard Firehouse early next year.
   Clark is currently a student at the University of Washington and Nelson is a UW graduate, working for a music software company in Issaquah.