Sunday, January 20, 2013

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, CTZNSHP - Garrison (Jan 18/13)

Yamantaka // Sonic Titan

It's a little disconcerting having a band soundcheck in their makeup like this, and even more still bumping into them like that backstage beforehand.

Then when they're finally ready to start the show the two front ladies swoop a dragon throughout the crowd before climbing on stage. Here they, along with their 4 cohorts already on stage, proceed to rip through an earnest, deliberate set of choreographed music and showmanship. They all appeared quite serious as they faithfully recreated the sound of the Polaris Prize shortlisting album YT//ST by layering their soaring voices on top of strong drumming, savage guitar and stellar synths. The set closer was hard-hitting (also the album closer?) and had us calling for more. They did return, after leading us through an initialism chant, with the 'nicest' song from the album Hoshi Neko (obviously a relative scale). To close it all off they did a cover that I didn't recognize but didn't take away from the enjoyment just as the new, non-album songs featured earlier in the set were promising as well.

This male three-piece from Montreal were vowel loathing like early JPNDRDS yet more melodic than them or PS I Love You who also employ a similar guitar drone. Perhaps it's the addition of the bass or maybe it is that his singing is exactly that, more sing than scream. With all that said it was the top notch drumming and somewhat intriguing time signatures that really brought this band home. Their recorded demos online didn't turn my crank the first time through but this show has made me think twice, and think hard.

Planet Creature
With lilting synths, the five-piece all female band put on their show. Due to the somewhat tone deaf singing all around (both guitarists and drummer tried their hand) it came off as slightly amateur. That may just have been inexperience leading to a lack of comfort or stage presence. The music itself was alright if leaning toward unoriginal. A few people in the crowd seemed to enjoy it enough to dance but even that was limited.

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