ManCub at Larimer Lounge, 5/25/12

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Tom Murphy
ManCub at Larimer Lounge


MANCUB @ LARIMER LOUNGE | 5/25/12

With a perforated, paneled structure as its backdrop with lights shining through and strung along the top edge, ManCub started things off with a forceful flood of low end, and both Alex Anderson and Ethan Converse seemed to push themselves headlong into the music with absolute focus, intensity and fluidity at once. The opening had sampled vocals and didn't sound like something that band had on either of its EPs, but the guys followed that up with "8 Bit Crush" and its collision of screaming white noise and 8-bit sounds processed and warped beyond immediate recognition, subservient to the urgent flow of ManCub's rhythm.

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Tom Murphy
ManCub at Larimer Lounge

As ManCub, Anderson had a powerful stage presence before, but with the addition of Converse, he has someone else that seems to match the passionate intensity of his performance, someone who is clearly unafraid to be caught up in the music and dance while also hitting the marks of the music perfectly -- all things Converse has cultivated and perfected in his other project, Flashlights.

During the set, ManCub did two covers: The first was a hyperkinetic, electro version of "Life During Wartime" by Talking Heads, which the duo made its own, and the second was the Gap Band's "You Dropped a Bomb On Me." With the manner in which ManCub has appropriated funk and R&B in the cauldron of sounds it freely throws into its mix, both songs made complete sense, and the outfit did the songs justice by making them even larger than life.

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Tom Murphy
ManCub at Larimer Lounge

In the ten-song set, ManCub performed virtually all of Business Dogs, if not all of it including the hectic "Intelligent Eyes" and the vibrantly moody "Science." We were also treated to old favorites, including "8 Bit Crush," as well as the forceful melody and bass swells of "Made in Japan." The whole heightened reality of ManCub's set ended with "Don't Go Dying On Me." But before that, Anderson joked about how they would say this would be their last song and then stayed on stage for three more. ManCub, as was made clear by this show, has somehow taken the '80s synth music obsession of chillwave and given it some real backbone with its consistently strong and sonically varied low end.

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Larimer Lounge

2721 Larimer St., Denver, CO

Category: Music

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