This past weekend (Feb 16 and 17) I spent, what some might consider, waaaaay too much time bouncing around the floor of Chop Suey. Both Friday and Saturday nights had bands that electrified the joint into a twitching and pulsing masses that some might even recognize as dancing…
The Blakes headlined Friday night’s show and shined as the gem of the night. They are jumping into a European tour this week and their enthusiasm was clear. The band has a magnetism that makes their style of grimey psychedelic rock unforgettable. The crowd at Chop Suey was charged with it and the band vamped it up with sweating screaming indulgence. Brothers Snow and Garnet Keim along with drummer Bob Husak neatly handed out all the hits from their self titled album which essentially means they played through the whole damned thing. They also tossed in some new songs to road test on the home crowd, likely to show up on a new album – most of which, I heard from Husak, has already been written for months. Can’t wait untile they’re back in the studio, but can’t complain about the abundance of shows lately. Be sure to catch them March 8th at High Dive with the Detroit Cobras.. oh and it’s $Free [audio:http://www.soundonthesound.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/two_times-the-blakes.mp3|bg=0xf2f7ff|leftbg=0xd6e69a|rightbg=0xb4d247|rightbghover=0x97c000|lefticon=0x97c000|righticon=0xfafcf2|righticonhover=0xfafcf2|text=0x0066ff|slider=0x0066ff|loader=0x99c2ff|track=0xffffff|border=0x0066ff]
The Blakes-Two Times
Saturday, Foals exploded into the night with jackhammer ferocity. For some unexplained reason, other than that Sub Pop wanted to pimp these relative unknowns to their local and loyal peeps, this show was $Free to anyone and everyone who bothered to show up. They are a 5 piece disco-rock band from Brighton fronted by Yannis Philippakis and Jimmy Smith on lead and rhythm guitar. They each play in perfect high pitched discord, almost everything above the 12th fret. Their guitars strapped close to their throats and chirping like electrocuted crickets.Walter Gervers takes bass playing into a jerking and convulsing realm along with the piercing leads. Jack Bevan’s drumming was presise and punctuated, but what really struck me as the night progressed was Edwin Congreave on keyboards and synth. This is where the bread and butter of the band comes from. The echoing pulsing sound. This is the source of the hypnotism, the part that kicks you in the back of the knees over and over causing you to bob and weave. The entire floor of Chop Suey felt it and it was seething.
There wasn’t much interaction with the crowd on a verbal level. Not that they didn’t “say” anything, it was more that we couldn’t make any sense of their thick Brittish accents, but Yanis made his way into the crowd twice. More stunning than exciting the crowd, but to their delight none the less.
I am anxious for the American release of their upcoming Sub Pop album, Antidotes due to release-in late March/early April. Astronauts and All-below-is a great example of the band’s hypnotic sounds but unfortunately will not appear on Antidotes
Foals-Astronauts and All
Honorable mention of the night goes to the Sleepy Eyes of Death who performed behind a veil of smoke, creating an ethereal feeling that was compounded by their heavy, yet ambient music, a synthesized conglomeration of keyboards with heavily distorted guitar, lead by disco-beat drums. Some live, some mechanized. The whole thing sounded like something a machine that recently became self-aware would create. Keep an eye out for their upcoming LP as they are working full bore towards getting that completed.
Sleepy Eyes of Death-Mean Time Till Failure
Photos by Kevin leDoux