26 June 2006

Slowlands and The Isles @ the Mercury Lounge, 24 June 2006

Saturday night I finally got to see two bands I've meant to check out live for a while now, Slowlands and The Isles. You might remember the post on EF about Slowlands, or that I included their song "One More Fire" as my contribution to Contrast Podcast #7. You also may have noticed that The Isles are playing the first EAR FARM Presents... show this Thursday night.

Slowlands
Slowlands opened the night a little bit after 9pm and they were missing a member of the band, their guitarist. I thought that, given the situation, the guys sounded great. Other than "One More Fire" I'm not super familiar enough with their songs to notice what was missing, and when, so I really enjoyed their set regardless. They have a very full, well thought-out, sound often characterized by building songs from gentle beginnings to explosive climaxes. The entire time, their lead singer brought it - his voice reminding me more than once of Tim Booth. I'm (mostly) always happy when bands remind me of my musical heroes of the past. More on that in one second.

Listen:
"Eisenstein"

Visit Slowlands on MySpace.

The Isles
The Isles remind people of The Smiths. I've heard it more than once, in fact it was the first thing I ever heard about this band. I missed seeing them open for Islands back in December at the Knitting Factory but in the bathroom before the show I heard someone say "they were okay, sounded like if The Smiths got back together but sucked". Yes, that's what I heard, and let me tell you I mention this for two reasons: one, because I find it amusing and entirely false, and two because it was these very words that got me interested in the band in the first place. Reminder - The Smiths are my favorite band ever. I've heard SO many bands called "the next Smiths" (or Smiths sound-a-likes) that it's generally quite a turn off to hear a band described as such, but that's never been the case with The Isles. Within their songs there's some Marr in the guitars, there's some Rourke in the bass, a touch of Morrissey in the lyrics, but there's so much more. Influences have clearly come to these guys from a variety of directions and the songs I've heard from their upcoming album really prove that they're in the upper echelon of New York based Indie-rock bands. There aren't many times you'll find yourself dancing to the groovy bass line/drumbeat while loving the jangle of the guitars and also actually listening to the lyrics...no, these guys are something special. Come and see them on Thursday night at Sin-é and see just how right I am.

Listen:
"Major Arcana"

Watch:
"Eve Of The Battle"

Visit The Isles on MySpace.

Right, Rahim and The Plastic Constellations played next on this bill but I had to leave to go see a show at another venue. I trust that both bands were excellent.