Over the weekend: Iwrestledabearonce at the Marquis Theater
|Iwrestledabearonce (Tom Murphy)|
Iwrestledabearonce, Human Abstract and Vanna
Friday, May 22, 2009
Better Than: A full-on emocore show.
Human Abstract started the show off with a blend of death metal and proggy screamo. Singer Nathan Ells switched between the death metal growl and higher-register distorted screamo vocals seamlessly. For the most part they sounded like a decent nü metal act, but some chill, melodic breaks and Ells' sonic contributions kept the whole thing from being too silly.
|Human Abstract (Tom Murphy)|
Up next was Vanna, who was more in the vein of one of those ultra-hardcore latter day emo bands that has one singer doing the distorted, controlled, pre-vomiting vocals while the other handles the melodies. That match-up usually sounds incredibly contrived, and such was the case with Vanna. Loud and energetic are not the only ingredients of exciting. Worse, the music was also fairly predictable and the anthemic element to many of the band's songs was laughable. Singer Chris Preece kept cajoling the crowd into dancing and moving around like crazy, and for the most part it worked.
|Vanna (Tom Murphy, click to enlarge)|
|Iwrestledabearonce (Tom Murphy, click to enlarge)|
The jazzy mid-song passages and the group's fearless weaving of electronic music into the frenzy of harried instrumentation and vocals sets Iwrestledabearonce apart at least superficially. But what I saw was a band that was coming into its own style of music. It wasn't just disparate parts awkwardly pieced together to be different for the sake of being different. With a short set that included "You Ain't No Family," and closed with "Tastes Like Kevin Bacon," this quintet from Shreveport, Louisiana proved that spastic music can be more than two-dimensional.
Personal Bias: Anyone blending musical styles without coming off like sonic dilettantes is okay with me.
Random Detail: Chris Preece of Vanna had on a t-shirt that said, "What the FUCK is Christian Hardcore?"
By the Way: Iwrestledabearonce had the coolest selection of t-shirts I've yet seen at a reasonable price.