For two members of the Portland indie rock outfit Eidolons, their show at Absolute Vinyl this Friday will be a homecoming.

Drummer Kyle Moderhak and singer Dan Byers grew up in Boulder and attended the same schools until they went their separate ways for college. With all of those years behind them, the memory of when exactly they decided to form a band is fuzzy.

“It's kind of hard to say,” Moderhak said. “We've always kind of wanted to do it and I think that as we got older ... we pretty much decided we really wanted to do this a couple years ago. Dan was in school with the other guys and they had a thing going. I was at the University of Colorado and I wanted to be in Portland, so I left and came to Portland.”

While Moderhak is, as he put it, “just doing this” now, two of the guys in the five-piece band are still enrolled at Lewis & Clark College in Portland. The courseload doesn't seem to be slowing Eidolons down, though. Since 2009 they've released several demo CDs, two EPs and a full-length album.

The LP, China, was released just a few weeks ago. The songs were all tracked live in a basement studio in Portland.

“We met these guys at Banana Stand Media, they let people come in and perform live shows in their basement and they're recorded,” Moderhak said.


“They reached out to us and wanted to do a studio album with us. We did the majority of recording in the basement. It was a more professional setting with better equipment.”

As a bandmate hollered something inaudible in the background, Moderhak reconsidered his word choice:

“Well, not professional by any means. It was a lot of fun.”

The album's title and cover art came from bass player Ian Wollman, who spent six months in China and took that photo there. Yup, that's him.

“I don't really remember [what was going on]. I think I was just really bored,” Wollman said. “I thought it'd be funny, just for posters or something, nothing a lot of people would see. But they took it. 

"It's a little awkward.”

He wasn't so thrilled to have his mom see the photo, and apparently a few reviews of China warned that the art would cause vomiting, but he doesn't seem too upset. Plus, the picture has a little sentimental value for the band

“He would send us pictures from China and make us laugh,” Moderhak said. “I guess it's his way of letting us know he's thinking about us.”

What's past the album cover is what's more important, though. Eidolons have a style that blends indie rock with a freak-folk sound. It's a hard thing to pin down, even for them.

“That's probably the number one question for us and it's definitely the hardest to answer,” Moderhak said. “I would classify it as just rock ‘n' roll. It's indie rock, pretty much. I feel like there are some aspects that are different than what you hear from a lot of indie rock bands.”

More importantly: “It's just loud music.”

Get loud with Eidolons at Absolute Vinyl on Friday, June 29 at 8 p.m. Opening for them is Shiner, a self-described “American girl-rock band with two boyfriends.” There's no cover charge, but a small donation is requested.