Subatomic Pieces reform for a fresh collaboration, clear vision

A veritable Kevin Bacon of Oklahoma music, it likely takes only a few steps to trace Chris Harris to any other local performer.

As owner and recording engineer of Hook Echo Sound, behind the board working sound at The Conservatory or in a producer role at Bell Labs in Norman, Harris has seen bands come and go. As a musician himself, the same is true.

Last year, his longtime band Subatomic Pieces called it quits, citing a desire to move on from the worn-thin new-band idealism and a readiness for a concrete project again. The later Subatomic Pieces days morphed into Harris backed by a revolving collective of about 20 local musicians. In the band’s farewell MySpace blog, Harris described the transformation as “more like a halfhearted, glorified solo project than the band that I started with my friends all those years ago.” But Depth & Current is a band. A “band” band.

This time, guitarist/vocalist Harris is joined at every show by Derek Lemke on guitar and keys, Colin Ingersol (formerly of Belle Reve, This Was the Year to Lose Friends) on bass, and drummer Scott Twitchell (Negative Negative, Gravity Propulsion System). The latter two were also members of Subatomic Pieces, but a perfunctory listen ensures no confusion between the bulk of the Subatomic Pieces catalog and Depth & Current.

Harris said that drawing a division between the two bands, while necessary, happened on its own. This probably owes something to the collaborative nature of the songwriting and the addition of a fresh musician in Lemke.

“It’s sort of a psychedelic, Goth-y grunge rock,” Lemke said.

If that description isn’t enough of an invitation, Depth & Current’s stage show does not want for production value. Expect some manner of lighting and fog effects at the band’s EP release show, 9 p.m. Friday at the Opolis.

“After the last show, we decided maybe we should have tried that stuff out first,” Harris said. “I had it mapped out in my head, how I was going to do everything, and as soon as the show started, I realized what a horrible idea that was.”

Even old hands can make rookie mistakes, but Depth & Current isn’t going to sweat the small stuff. Or perhaps more accurately, the big stuff. Harris has a clear vision for the band’s to-do list, but you may need a magnifying glass to read it.

“Tiny, tiny baby steps. And trying to think of taking over the world from a much smaller perspective,” he said. “The older I get, the more I appreciate my own small community of friends and peers. We’ll get this EP out on our own with some DIY packaging and try to make it something people want to have. If somebody else is interested, if a label hears it and likes it, then sure, that would be awesome, but if not, we’ll record another.”

Depth & Current with El Paso Hot Button play at 9 p.m. Friday at Opolis, 113 N. Crawford in Norman. “Becky Carman

Becky Carman

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