Pat Sajak Assassins Is One of This Year's STL 77

The RFT honors the musical acts we love in St. Louis in 2017


This year ​the RFT recognizes ​St. Louis' ​stellar music scene by presenting the STL 77, ​our list of 77 acts who did big things in the last twelve months. From now through June 17, the date of our huge annual music festival ShowcaseSTL, we'll be announcing two ​honorees per weekday on our music blog. For more information on STL 77, as well as the complete lineup for ShowcaseSTL, go here.

Long-running St. Louis prog-punk institution Pat Sajak Assassins has been on the scene so long that even the newest incarnation of its many lineups is older than most bands. The decade-plus chemistry between bassist Brian Fleschute and drummer Harold Covey shines in their aggressive attack, which combines harshly distorted, occasionally polyphonic melodies with jerky but precise math-rock drumming. Christopher Eilers and Syrhea Conaway mix in winding keyboard melodies that take shape in everything from clean piano and organ sounds to squelching synths and sweeping theremin. Conaway’s vocals are similarly versatile, ranging from pretty choir-like singing to furious lower-register bellowing as she weaves sci-fi tales. All of these elements combine in multi-segmented songs with sometimes abrupt stylistic changes and the occasional odd time signature. But Pat Sajak Assassins is remarkably accessible: The hooks are there, cutting through grooves that may be busy, but are never cluttered.

Recommended if you like: Battles, Hella, Yes, Explosions in the Sky