There's something familiar about Le Cachot -- and it's not just the name, cribbed from the herky-jerky old Kennywood dark ride. The four-piece, releasing its self-titled first album this weekend, is made up of folks who have been in a number of well-known local bands and, in fact, played together once, in the late '90s, as Irwin.
The band includes Bill Merante, Stephen McMillen, Paul "Miser" Werkmeister and Gene Doyle; the members' collective experience spans bands like Life in Bed, Voice in the Wire, Creta Bourzia and Don Caballero. The band's record, released by Doyle's nascent ToothagunnA Music label, is a showcase of guitar-centered rock, putting a certain pop sheen over the technical complexity one would expect from a band with such a pedigree. In some ways, Werkmeister says, Le Cachot is a progression from what the members have done in the past, especially with Irwin.
"The stuff that we had done in Irwin, especially before Gene and Steve joined the band, was more aggressive, almost more manic," he explains. "I think [Le Cachot's music] is more refined, more focused."
Guitar-rock bands, of course, aren't quite as ubiquitous as they were in the '90s; the indie landscape is littered with synth-pop and bands with drum machines and samples. But Werkmeister doesn't see Le Cachot as being divorced from (or even a reaction against) that trend -- just a different direction.
"I'd say we've progressed along with [the larger indie-rock scene]," says Werkmeister, "But in a different vein. Bands like Phoenix and MGMT tend to be more drum- and percussion-oriented, less guitar-driven. I think we've progressed as much in our way as those bands have in their way."
LE CACHOT CD release with HOT GARBAGE, DJ HUCK FINN. 9:30 p.m. Sat., June 25. Lava Lounge, 2204 E. Carson St., South Side. $5. 412-431-5282