Saturday, June 10, 2006

Pressure Kill Common Style, Twin Fangs @ Reverb

Rolling the dice on a NXNE gig featuring bands I've never heard of (save for a short recommendation in a newspaper) makes for some risky business -- if one of those bands turns out to be great, it's almost a bonus. Two great bands is a windfall.

For their main course, Pressure Kill Common Style channel "Isn't Anything"-era MBV, unleashing a furiously precise slate of noisy guitar rock. On the side, seemingly to satisfy the band member's collective curiousities, they do a thorough job of humiliating oft-hyped electronic pop bands like Styrofoam and Junior Boys by stealing their act and improving on it by leaps and bounds. How? Using the all-purpose musical topping -- hazy synth washes -- and drowning their dance beats with them. M83 should take note: this is the proper volume for synths in your live gigs. Then they dabble in Franz Ferdinand's style of 80's-style funk, just because they can, I guess. Brilliant stuff from beginning to end.

I don't usually like drums/guitar bands, but Twin Fangs are a very, very good one. It finally dawns on me just how low the White Stripes have set the bar. The drums are actually the lead instrument in this sort of band. Sloppy stickhandlers like Meg White put disproportional focus on the guitar -- the overall effect is that it appears as though an instrument is missing. This isn't the case with busy, dextrous, metronomic drummers. Screaming guitar solos and continual requests to increase the levels on the bass strings give the effect that there are four or five players on stage, and after a whirlwind thirty minutes, they stop, well before they've worn out their welcome. Always leave them wanting more, there's no fault in that.

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