January 11, 2010
JezebelMusic.com @ Glasslands
January 6, 2010 | The Babies, True Womanhood, Total Slacker, Beach Fossils, Sundelles
[All images copyright 2010 Rachel Oakes]
Last Wednesday, an adorable swarm of stripey-teed, bespectacled Williamsburgers filed in to Glasslands for bands whose very monikers spoke volumes to the nature of the crowd: Total Slacker, The Babies, and perhaps a bit more far-fetched, True Womanhood. Although the main event was The Babies, (comprised of members from Vivian Girls and Woods), I thought True Womanhood had considerable novelty appeal and definitely won Miss Congeniality for the night. Thomas Redmond, Melissa Beattie, and Noam Elsner’s melodic doomsday drones brought out the vampire in all of us, and by the end of their set, even the bartender was rocking out.
Utilizing maudlin drum loops, beer-soaked, distorted basslines, and Doug Martsch-inspired vocals, the trio of psych rockers filled the space with a palpably hypnotic echo. The sound is a product of organic songwriting, never taking the obvious route back to a hook, barraging the ear with a pattern of recognizable basslines, and then shying away. Luckily for us, this gave way to the under-indulged timpani, whose deep and kettled voice brought new life to the roll of the kick drum in experimental indie rock. Elsner’s drumming is a sight to behold, as is Beattie’s childlike, Duff McKagan attitude toward her bass. The songs could have been tighter, but the kernel of a great structure was there, and at Glasslands, who’s counting?
by Drew Citron
Check out more shots of the show after the jump!
More on The Babies, True Womanhood, Total Slacker, Beach Fossils, Sundelles @ Glasslands | 1.06.10
JezebelMusic.com @ Bruar Falls
June 14, 2009 | The Browns, Air Waves, & Sundelles
“Whew, it’s early!” laughed Air Waves drummer Daoud durin the 1928 Recordings showcase at Bruar Falls on Sunday afternoon. Bright sunlight streamed through the back door and a few children drank sodas at the bar. While some folks sipped beers, others idled with coffee and pastries in hand.
But there was no fatigue in the droopy, droning vocals and detached stare of Ryan McReynolds, singer and guitarist for The Browns and owner of 1928 Records. Browns play it straight: garage rock without much distortion, and no crazy stage antics. The most excitement of the set came from drummer Santos Montana, who battered the hell out of the snares. They set the mood for what was a day of jeans-and-t-shirt, no-pretense music. The Browns really do sound like a twangier, daytime version of The Soft Pack, the big fish on 1928 Records, which made them a good choice for a set during Williamsburg’s brunching hour.
Air Waves also fit the daytime setting – they’re the kind of band I’d play on a slow morning at home. I’ve read reviews of Air Waves that describe them as a folk-punk band that avoids delicacy. But there’s a real gentleness to their music and a resounding sadness in their songs. Nicole Schneit’s voice squeezes and rustles through her throat until she finds the clear open space of her upper register, and the whole experience of hearing her get there is really lovely. I was most struck by “Gems,” one of those songs where, by the end, I realized that I’d been staring through the band.
The only act that suffered from playing an early show was the Sundelles’, but that’s really a compliment to them. They were enthusiastic, sweaty, loud. They played San Diego sunny, fuzzy rock ‘n roll that grabbed at punk and even doo-wop; music for those who got the brunch beer instead of a latte. But I guess the crowd was still waking up. They kept their distance from the stage (some folks plugged their ears) while bassist Francis McLoughlin lurched around, grimacing, his glasses sliding down his nose, while singer/guitarist Sam Sundos swayed on the balls of his feet. I wanted to jump around and shake my hair too, but I felt inhibited by the unresponsive crowd. Still, I found Sundelles’ most upbeat songs, like “Dead Youth,” to be their most successful. I only wish they’d played their shout-along cover of The Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks.” Maybe next time. I’d gladly see Air Waves and Browns at another matinee, but I’ll have to check out Sundelles once more at night, so I can really let loose.
by Erin Sheehy