I caught local band BB Sinclair alongside the out-of-towners Douse on tour from Vancouver, in beautiful British Columbia. Here's a few impressions from the set which I enjoyed a great deal.
BB Sinclair lays tender synthy pop sound over fuzzy and exuberant rock tracks. The vocals have that strained vulnerability of something approaching emo but it doesn't grate on the ears or come across as sickly or overdone when the lyrics get tongue in cheek or starkly confessional, like on the song "I Think I Like It." The crowd at the Crepe is a good representation of the musics appeal. Younger folk with a lo-fi subdued punky vibe and indeterminate gender expression hug their elbows and sway along nodding and weaving in time to the tunes. The songs pace go from wending and lethargic to a bopping pop rock. Talking about it with DJ Dayquil she put forth the Cure as a reference point and found the drumming in particular to follow the pattern of a lot of emo-songs, like a boom-batta-clat-clat they go. I agree a bit with the theme in a broad way, but found the tunes a little less bright and more dreary then 80's music it might have some DNA passed down from. Theirs also a folksiness in how sparse some of it is despite the synth sounds in many tracks. I really enjoy the varying passages of intimate quiet and almost mumbled verses and loud noise Pixies-esque choruses with a soaring synth and beautiful keening wails by the singer. While the crowd isn't moving much you can feel a lot of emotion in the room and that is maybe the best recommendation of this band. The kind of in bent music you might listen to standing naked in front of mirror, looking yourself over, feeling alternatively ridiculous, sad, but also like a real beautiful specimen of humankind.
Douse followed them up and the two bands' sounds fit together great on the bill. The guitar had a plinking high tone playing unsettling repetitive licks. The singer does a David Byrne style stumbling dance and straightens up, looks about, smooths hair, stumble once more in an identical fashion like stuttering video. The drums seem angrily loud maybe this is the mix in the relatively small venue but it seems a part of the style, a sort of marching cadence. That punchy drumming counterpoints the dreamy bell jar echo of the guitar. The singers phrases the vocals in between so that it can be heard rising between the mountainous drums and moves in tandem with the guitar. The bass parts come forward at points in an understated way and hold humming sustained notes that carry a lot of emotion for the oft overlooked bass line. A guitar solo comes in and it has a choral quality almost sort of like an organ. I realize then almost ashamed that it reminds me of the guitars from that gem of middle-aged jamming the Dave Mathews Band. That being said I'm always a sucker for a little theatrics in Art-Rock.
In Service of 90.1 community radio straight outta Boulder Creek,