Friday, October 7, 2011
In September of 2009 I moved to Boston, and the night I moved Mr. Gnome, a band I had recently become obsessed with, just so happened to be playing in town. Tired from moving, I didn't go to the show... like a regular asshole. I have regretted that decision every single day since then. Last night however, all wrongs were righted as I finally got to catch my favorite Cleveland duo live at Union Pool in Brooklyn. The band are on tour in support of their upcoming album Madness in Miniature and there wasn't a chance in hell I was missing their show. Check out our recap and photos below. All photos courtesy of Dan Greer.
Opening the evening was Brooklyn's own Noxious Foxes, a spastic math rock band that will instantly appeal to fans of Hella, Tera Melos, and Battles. The duo's instrumental music is based around guitarist Justin Talbott and his army of loop pedals and effects and the explosive machine gun drumming of Richard Levengood, a sight that truly must been seen to understand. The band plowed through dizzying and unnervingly energetic tracks from the recently released Légs, while the audience watched transfixed on their controlled mayhem. Levengood was strategically positioned sideways on stage so there was no missing his rapid footwork, something like the drumming equivalent of running a marathon. Talbott stayed equally busy, casually twisting knobs in perfect time creating layers upon layers of guitar and synth loops. The time signatures shifted every time someone blinked, as they duo went into an all out fury over the course of their set. The band have several shows coming up, which can be found HERE.
Brooklyn's Chat Logs followed with a wall of droning shoegaze/psych noise accompanied by racing visuals. The band were about as loud as physically possible in Union Pool's small space, and even after seeing hundreds of shows, the sheer volume didn't quite sit right with my ears.
The time for Mr. Gnome arrived not a moment too late, as the band opened with "Cleveland Polka," an absolute favorite from 2009's exceptional Heave Yer Skeleton. Setting the tone with a quick and energetic burst, singer/guitarist Nicole Barille and drummer Sam Meister roared through the stoned riffs and intricate rolling rhythms with graceful precision. The band shifted tone and atmosphere on the haunting "Spain," as Meister switched to keys for the creeping introduction. The duo complement each other phenomenally in a live setting with Barille's massive guitar riffs and stunning vocals soaring out while Meister's diverse range of rhythms convulse and contort. Mr. Gnome ripped through the quirky-meets-badass "Plastic Shadow" and "Vampires" before breaking into "Ate The Sun," "Run For Cover," and "Bit of Tongue," from Madness in Miniature. Barille's vocals ranged from soft and beautiful to commanding and jawdropping as she let loose with a few shouted blasts. The band closed with fan favorite "Night of the Crickets" from their full length debut Deliver This Creature, with its shape shifting groove cranked up to 11.
Mr. Gnome are on a MASSIVE tour through mid December, so chances are they're coming to a city near you. Check out all their dates HERE! Don't forget Madness in Miniature will be out October 25th on El Marko Records (the vinyl is beautiful), though you can stream two tracks below!
Posted by Dan Goldin at 7:13 PM