And you shall know us by our feedback
Sunday night saw an epic live show, but not on campus, rather in Carrboro at the Cat’s Cradle. Deerhunter and Times New Viking, two of the most buzzoworthy bands in the indie rock scene at the moment, jammed and wailed and flooded the venue with waves of noise that left my ears ringing for hours, in a good way.
Yet in my opinion, the highlight of the show was the first opening set, starting at 9pm, featuring none other than Vinyl Records’ own artist Lake Inferior. The 5 piece, all student, indie rock act truly work to expand what that label can mean. Each member brings diverse musical influences to the table and their use of layered complex instrumentation, as well as samples from their laptop, enriches their already dynamic compositions. In true Lake Inferior form, they played a new song half way through their set called Vancouver, which relies heavily on reverb effects and a crescendo of blasting sound accompanied by Nasir Abbas’ haunting vocals. They performed with incredible composure and held their own with two of their genre’s “bands of the moment”, even to the point that Bradford Cox of Deerhunter sat on the corner of the stage for the entire set, nodding and swaying to the music.
Next, Times New Viking of Matador Records, a brash rock trio from Columbus, Ohio have garnered great reviews with their simple, in your face mix of smooth guitar licks, melodic mini keyboard effects (which are becoming more and more ubiquitous in this writers opinion), and crashing drums. In my opinion they sound like the Ramones if their microphones got drunk and they experimented with drugs (wait, the Ramones…drugs…?) But they sure put on a good show, albeit abbreviated, with almost all their songs lasting about 2 or 2 & 1/2 minutes. They were rough and frenetic, even to the point that Drummer Adam Elliott claimed they never use setlists, something they learned from Jack White.
Then it was time for Deerhunter, an experimental noise rock band from Atlanta, Georgia, led by frontman Bradford Cox, who sings comparably to Yoko Ono at times. Cox, who stands 6’4″, has Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder of the connective tissue that gives him abnormally long and spindly limbs, the same condition that the late Joey Ramone (them again?) had. They slammed the crowd with their atmospheric, often fractured dance rhythms, showcasing a lot of material from their new album, called Microcastle on Kranky Records, which displays their shift towards a slightly more pop-oriented sound. Although they certainly haven’t forgotten their more inaccessible, grinding, noise-rock sound that first put them on the map.
It was a great night for live music at the Cradle, and in particular for Lake Inferior, who quite simply rocked the house.