Monday, April 02, 2007

Interlude: Three Or Four

Somehow, it's already April. To say that this semester/year is going by quickly is a euphemism, and I've never been so frightened of summer vacation before (semi-independence is a scary prospect). But in an attempt to salvage the last moments of March, despite my protesting ears, I took the N train down to Canal Street for another show. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Oh My Rockness has a comprehensive listing of virtually all New York shows, and I think it's definitely the best way to figure out who's playing where and when. Last night, they staged a four-band mini-festival. Unfortunately, we missed Del Rey, but the rest of the evening was pretty eventful.

Dragons of Zynth

After hearing the set, it's perfectly reasonable that Dragons of Zynth have ties to TV on the Radio. While I'm still not terribly familiar with either group, the avant-garde nature of the music is pretty apparent. What seems to differentiate Dragons is the sheer intensity of their live show. From the first blast of distorted guitar, I knew it was going to be loud - perhaps abrasively so - but the band was able to channel this ferocity into something more accessible, and more interesting. While the vocals were too unconventional to be considered straight-up rock, they definitely settled into a nice groove at times. The real highlight of the set was undoubtedly the conclusion: a throat-shredding, seizure-inducing affair that culminated with singer Aku leaping into the crowd and passing around a dragon mask. Whoa.

The band don't actually have an album out yet, but with production from TV's David Andrew Sitek, it should be a fascinating record. I'm not sure how definitive this is, but apparently they're also on the upcoming Massive Attack album, whenever that arrives.

MySpace: Dragons of Zynth

Oxford Collapse

Oxford Collapse play energetic, uptempo indie rock, but their set didn't really impress me. I believe the phrase that popped into my head at the time was "yelling incoherently into a snow storm." I was probably exhausted to the point of intolerance, but there's definitely some stylistic incompatibility as well. I do have to credit the band for keeping the energy level high, and they're very dynamic performers, but the songs weren't particularly memorable. Things were reasonably interesting, with the use of two- (and with random people rushing onstage through the side door, three- and four-) part harmonies, but all in all, I was rather disappointed.

MySpace: Oxford Collapse
Official Site: Oxford Collapse (It seems to be down at the moment.)

"Walter Meego makes pop music," states their Wikipedia entry, but it wan't that clear-cut, at least in the live setting. Their performance resembled a DJ set, with enormous electonic washes and feisty breakbeats (not to mention a rave-worthy audience). What prevented it from being completely digitally driven was Justin Sconza's vocals (as well as live guitars), which brought a human element, however detached. Still, they made as much noise as the previous two groups, and in my electrophile opinion, in a more interesting way. Although not a revelatory experience, the concert did fit the bill of three (and I presume, four) different groups that do not sound at all alike, and I have to applaud Oh My Rockness for their efforts. While I probably don't need more shows to go to, I'll try to check out these types of showcases in the future.

MySpace: Walter Meego
Official Site: Walter Meego (Also seems down at the moment.)
YouTube: Walter Meego - Romantic
YouTube: Walter Meego - Wanna Be A Star

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