The Prids, Overcasters, Gangcharger
Monday, March 30, 2009
Larimer Lounge, Denver
A show featuring genre-specific, nostalgia acts.
|Gangcharger (Tom Murphy)|
Gangcharger set the pace for the show opening with a grittily atmospheric instrumental piece shot through with pulses of pure energy, followed by what sounded like a Confusion is Sex
-era Sonic Youth song. At this point it dawned on me how Ethan, the guitarist, was able to make his Fender Jaguar sound both ghostly and abrasive, as well as haunted yet aggressive. Overall, the band reminded something of a cross between Mission of Burma's fusion of noise and post-punk and Sonic Youth in moments of frenetic, headlong pacing. Clearly when naming the band Gangcharger, its members had the music they would make in mind.
|Overcasters (Tom Murphy)|
Though down its usual flood of visual imagery, Overcasters filled in
that gap with a set that seemed more tight and inspired than I remember
even when the band played in New Jersey and New York. The act opened
with the sparkling "Expect the Worst," followed oddly enough by "Hey
Hope," which made me wonder if it was a playful set list joke. The third and fourth songs, which were relatively new, sound like Overcasters have picked up where they left off with Revolectrocution
, taking its core sound of swirling, atmospheric, electrifying
dynamics in interesting directions. There were two songs I didn't recognize right
away, and those turned out to be "One Kind" and "Loudsea." I don't know if the songs
are played differently now, or if the parts were changed slightly, or if
the band is just plain tighter after its series of out of town gigs, but
those two songs sounded more fully realized than ever, with a greater
degree of coloring and shading. The set ended, as usual, with
"Electrocution," fitting since not much could follow that blazing, joyful apocalypse
of a song.
|the Prids (Tom Murphy)|
Apparently if you have any roots in moody post-punk, you're supposed to
be a miserable band playing depressing music. The Prids completely
demolished such foolish notions by proving that much of that kind of
music comes from a need to inspire yourself through catharsis.
The outfit opened with an invigorating performance of "Back Up Slow" and never really never let up its visceral momentum. During "Like Hearts," I
was impressed with how passionately David Frederickson and Mistina
Keith dug into their respective instruments, buoyed by Joey Maas'
relentless, tom-heavy, percussion. I'm not sure I've seen the Prids
perform a better version of "Before We Are," and even during the languid
and sentimental "Love Zero," there was an intensity to the performance
that simmered rather than bursting forth as the rest of the
set had. The band treated us to three new songs, including "Waste Our Time,"
which deftly alternated between blocks of sound and the usual fluid
sweep of the band's songwriting, "I'll Wait" with its beautiful belltone
bass intro, and "It Won't Show," featuring an incredible shimmering riff
within a riff on the part of Frederickson. The set ended with "One
Thousand Five," a UFO-lift-off sound of a drone that seemed to lift the
band away. Instead the Prids decided to do a two-song encore of "Contact"
and "All That You Want," bringing to close what was a remarkable show all around, with the Prids
proving once again why it's a formidable and inspiring energetic live
I love atmospheric music that can create cool color moods without being a bummer.
John Nichols of Overcasters was wearing a cool Scott Walker t-shirt.
By the Way:
The Prids had ouija boards for sale that featured the band's artwork.