Holy Fuck, Indian Jewelry, Gauntlet Hair and DJ Peter Black @ Larimer Lounge, 10/20/10
Tom Murphy Holy Fuck
Indian Jewelry • Gauntlet Hair • Peter Black
10.20.10 | Larimer Lounge, Denver, CO
As usual, Peter Black set the stage for what was to come with what seemed like sonically appropriate remixes. Right before the first band took the stage, it sounded like some kind of experimental ambient thing. Either way, Mr. Black makes his remixes sound like stuff he composed himself, and it's always interesting to hear.
Tom Murphy Gauntlet Hair
This was Gauntlet Hair's first show as a trio with a second guitar player. Between the band's last show and this, it seemed obvious to me that Craig Nice had fine-tuned his electronic/acoustic drum rig so that nothing sounded too distorted. Instead, everything sounded very much in Nice's able command and impressively robust. Between Andy R. and the new guitarist, referred to as "Doran," the two guitars struck a depth of rhythm and tone that wasn't at all obvious unless you listened a little closer.
With each show, it seems that Gauntlet Hair is trying something new, some innovation it hasn't yet fully explored. A lot of acts hit a creative ceiling, and that's the sound they stick with in perpetuity, or they hit that ceiling and change their approach to songwriting. Gauntlet Hair appears to be avoiding that painful process entirely by diving directly into new ways of doing things -- either by refining what works and then taking it a different direction, or by mixing in new elements in unexpected ways that change how those sounds are used.
For part of the set, Andy R's vocals were reminiscent to those of Dean Wareham, at least in how it sat in the music, and the whole band sounded like Galaxie 500 with a lot more adrenaline and influenced by noisy lo-fi rock. If these guys keep up this creative trajectory, they'll go beyond developing a strong musical voice of their own and become a band that influences others. But even if that doesn't happen, plenty of people felt compelled to dance to Gauntlet Hair and most indie rock bands of any stripe don't much inspire such things.