Thin Fevers, Svetlana
Thursday, March 10
If there are any people left who don't believe adventurous, experimental music can find a welcome reception in Indianapolis, events Thursday at the Patio disproved that theory the same way Snopes.com debunks urban legends.
Two left-of-center groups from Indy opened for NYC hipsters Asobi Seksu and very nearly upstaged the main act, something very hard to do. Svetlana and Thin Fevers both contain all-star lineups, but that's where the similarity ends. Svetlana, featuring ex-Majhas member Tony Reitz and Lunar Event's Gynneth Burgins, takes a page or two out of the Low playbook and played an intense slowcore/shoegaze set that inspired visions of spring days and autumnal sorrows. Their material was not derivative but based solidly on the tenets of shoegaze. Burgins' ethereal voice added a needed dose of sensuality to the mix. Drummer Rob G. kept a solid foundation on which other members took melodic excursions.
Thin Fevers, on the other hand, owes a big debt to late 1970s New Wave, when the Gang of Four and The Clash threatened briefly to take over the world. Featuring ex-Saraswati members Matt Chandler and Ben Traub, and showcasing the talents of lead singer Antonio Leiriao and guitarist Brian Wyrick, they delivered a punchy, energetic set of punky dance music. You can hear the influences of Wire, Magazine and the Fall, but they've put their own stamp on the sound, which keeps it from being derivative.
Their songs were catchy, fun and full of pep, like chugging two cans of Red Bull at once. It will be interesting to see where these bands go from here. It was Svetlana's first performance and one of the Thin Fevers' debut sets. Distinctive, memorable music like this can revive a stagnant music scene, and these two bands make a case for themselves as strong contenders to do just that.