Saturday, June 19, 2010

100 Shows of 2010 - #34: This Will Destroy You/Light Pollution/Slow Six @ DC9, 6/10/10

What better way to recover after two utterly insane nights with The Brian Jonestown Massacre than with a trio of monumentally loud, breathtakingly noisy bands? There’s no other way, there’s no other way. All I could do was watch them play, and man alive it was one heck of a show. The newly-revamped DC9 floorplan took a backseat to all the sonic mayhem on the stage, and it was painfully spectacular.

MINI RECAP: This Will Destroy You = Beautifully Loudest! Light Pollution = Beautifully Louder! Slow Six = Beautifully Loud! Overall score: B+.

Up first was Brooklyn’s Slow Six. They emitted a very dreamy, very layered sound, reminiscent of England’s Yndi Halda. I definitely dug their dual-threat violin angle, probably the first time I’ve come across that in a non-orchestral setting. “Cloud Cover” was noise on a grand scale, with a misty swirl of an intro and miles and miles of glorious drone. Something dark simmers under the surface of this band, a little bit threatening and very much appealing. All the looping and swirling gave their music an ethereal quality, as it traversed all sorts of interesting places. I heard someone say “ambience” at one point in the set, and they weren’t just whistlin’ Dixie. Slow Six does indeed knock out some very ambient noise. Both welcoming and off-putting, at times the band was rather disquieting. All in all, Slow Six really impressed me. If you’re in the market for some eerie, hauntingly lovely and really loud music, you might wanna check these folks out.

Occupying the bill’s sandwich spot was Chicago’s Light Pollution, a band I’ve seen recently and was totally excited to see once more. Once again, they were totally fantastic, even from the few notes of “Cinnamon Girl” someone snuck in during their soundcheck. Their delightful mix of pop, indie rock, and knob-twiddling just makes me so very happy. They opened with a very bouncy, perky version of “All Night Outside”, which was absolutely adorable. They really started to hit their stride with “Bad Vibes”, with the swelling buzz of the keys and a feeling of being sonically all over the place yet totally in command. The awesome drum explosion in the middle of the song was incredible. “This song’s call ‘Good Feelings’. It’s about feeling good,” was our intro to the most excellent “Good Feelings”. The bass was deep and rich, and the band continued to hit all the right notes. They were totally on point, and my only complaint about the set was that it was too short! I wanted more, dangit.

As if the first two bands weren’t good enough, on came This Will Destroy You, the Texans with a penchant for seriously amazing noise. I was in the mood for inordinately, ungodly loud music, and TWDY didn’t disappoint. In a way, their music lives up to their name, because it can pretty much liquefy your brain. The music of This Will Destroy You makes me think of an inky black, cloud-heavy night where you can’t see a star through all the weight of the clouds, except on the occasion of the moon poking through for just a brief instance. It’s a little chilling, a little heavy, and exceedingly beautiful. They play lovely, delicate parts against crunchy, super loud bits and it creates a brilliantly gigantic wall of sound. The merciless pounding of the drums was incredible, and the songs were so delightfully dark. It’s a full frontal aural assault, melodic and lovely and crushing all at once. The band seemed almost methodical, working carefully to make sure every note was precise and perfect. At one point I saw a few dudes trying to block their ears with their hands against the onslaught of magnificent noise, but I can’t imagine it worked very well. Even with my earplugs in I could feel the noise seeping into my skull. Their set was so very good, it was have mercy on me good. This is a band that could soundtrack both oblivion and salvation. They’d make a great tour pairing with Mono, and I’d be at that show in a heartbeat.

In conclusion, I can but urge you to go see each of these three bands whenever you get the chance. Just make sure you bring your earplugs.

mp3: Cloud Cover (part 1) (Slow Six from Tomorrow Becomes You)

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