Billed as a double feature, Friday night's Vollrath show featured an interesting mix of rave-up party music and avant-garde looping experiments.
There's something to be said for sheathing pretty melodies in reverb. The best at this conceit use reverb to open doors and send symphonies of sound exploding around the room. They're inclusive and warm. Big Colour, a solo act that utilizes looping, fails in that sense. Sure, the highs and lows within his music crash into each other like waves - producing a beautifully hypnotic effect - but ultimately, much of Big Colour is insular and cold.
It's easy to overlook the simple appeal of Bronze Float's David Brant's music. Unadorned and sparse, Brant's music is perfect for quieter, more intimate atmospheres. Bashful almost to a fault, one must accidently stumble onto the appeal of his graceful songs; he's not beating on doors to get you to notice. Melodies never seem to go anywhere, as if the words he chose were simply too lonesome for a melody. But overlooking him would be a shame.
I was ready to write-off CJ Boyd a rip-off of Explosions in the Sky when midway through his first song, the gentle melodic structure gave way to a flamenco interlude, taking the song in a more avant-garde direction. Boyd's choice of bass as a primary instrument lent his music an earthy and tonally unique sound. Heavy, down-strummed notes "cha-chunk" along and controlled feedback has an intensely panoramic effect. Boyd is worth seeing.
They do so much with so little. That may seem like a backhanded compliment, but it's not. Elsinore's primary gift is in taking song structures and melodies heard a thousand times before adult-contemporary/indie songs and subverting them. Of course that's not always the case, and when the band slowed things down and veered dangerously in The Fray territory, they recognized the need to pick things up.
This is the ultimate hipster party band; wild, uncontrollable and innovative, Dr. Manhattan takes a page from the soul and funk handbook - mixing a taut approach with endless attempts to get their crowd riled up. They're a well-oiled machine, but one that knows when to cut loose, dropping instruments to dance in the crowd, putting on glasses with fluorescent flashlights affixed to them and inciting a massive zombie dance throughout the crowd.
Prizzy Prizzy Please
Bloomington's Prizzy Prizzy Please has been around long enough to have built a fan base in Indianapolis. Like Dr. Manhattan, Prizzy Prizzy Please's music is meant to be abrasive (a source of ire among detractors) and meant to be experienced within a dancing crowd. Yet when the band's singer slipped into a leering falsetto for a Prince-like number, their detractors look like fools.