Last night in New York City on a balmy 70 degree February evening Storytown played a stripped down acoustic set at Manhattan venue The Bowery Electric. The group who usually plays with a full four piece set up reduced the size without reducing the sound, performing an intimate set with only an acoustic guitar and acoustic bass. The set felt honest and personal. Guy Story – the guitarist and vocalist – led us into the songs with a memory, anecdote, or a frame of reference about how the music came to be.
The band have a unique sound in the modern Indie Rock climate. Picture David Byrne and Michael Stipe recording an album together with modern day world issues and modern production technology. If you can mentally piece that together you might have a good idea where Storytown’s sound begins. Storytown will be releasing an album later this year.
UprightMan showed us how emotional rock music can be on January 30th at Brooklyn Bowl. The band plays with enough energy to compel you to dance,while also playing with enough empathetic despondency to force listeners to reflect upon every decision that has guided them to this point. UprightMan‘s songs seem to move forward at the same time as staying still. Notes hang in soupy reverb. Unexpected distortion jaggedly cuts through the shimmer. UprightMan would be as comfortable opening for Steely Dan as they would sharing a stage with Royal Blood. The set helped me find myself only to lose myself time after time. The band deserves your attention, last night they certainly had mine.
Deathbeat owned the stage and the crowds attention last night at Pianos. The band hails from Melbourne Australia, they played with power and enthusiasm despite the foreign arctic blast engulfing the city for much of their time here. They kicked off with “Dust The Book” a song which hinges on a hypnotic rhythm from drummer Steve Tyssen. The drum trance coupled with the hazy but precise guitar from Julian Schweitzer foreshadowed the rest of the set. Track after track the duo powered through with distorted guitar and booming percussion.
The fourth track in “Vibe Police” seemed like a tongue in cheek statement about youth and authority. Julian’s presentation of lyrics let the listener know to swallow with a grain of salt. The group next played “Heartbreaks”. This track is reminiscent of “Sabotage” era Beastie Boys. “Heartbreaks” has an accompanying video you can watch with the link below.
The band finished the set with “ZAP 5”. The song has giant Tom Morello – esque guitars that provided emotional closure on a carefully placed and muscular set list. The band will head back home to Australia next week you can keep up with them on social media via the links below.
On Dec 7th Hardworker of Durham, NC took the stage at Rockwood Music Hall in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York. The band has a sound that is deeply rooted in American folk but breaks out and finds its home in todays indie singer/songwriter pool of talent. Lead singer and guitarist Sus Long lead the band through a set of songs off their latest release Go Alone as well as a few tracks from albums past.
By the second song they had to crowds undivided by playing the folk rock turned garage rock anthem “Look More Like A Girl”. The vocal harmonies divided between Long and Alex Treyz on “Lazarus” really filled the room with a Gospel vibe. Mid set the track “Kate” brought the energy with sharp guitars from Daniel Nowell and a distorted four string banjo played by Mike Connor. Wrapping up the already heartfelt show with all out folk song “Kansas City” we were left knowing the band can channel the North Carolinian roots. Elizabeth Cotton would have even probably approved of the bands ode to home.
Hardworker fits into and breaks out of the folk rock mold and they put on a great show in the meantime. Keep up with them here.