May 21, 2016

That Was The Show That Was: Eagulls | Islington Assembly Hall, London | 19 May

That Was The Show That Was: Eagulls | Islington Assembly Hall, London | 19 May

Hotly tipped UK five Eagulls took the stage at London's Islington Academy Halls Thursday night looking every bit a part of Britain's noteworthy post-punk lineage. Fronter George Mitchell had outfitted his gaunt frame in black slacks and tucked white shirt; sonically, the Leeds-spawned act's performance felt similarly lacking in color. Roughly splitting the set list between 2014's stirring eponymous long player and this year's moodier and more atmospheric Ullages, Eagulls presented various interpretations of the hopelessness peddled by forebears including The Cure some three decades ago. While the Cure comparison intrigues, such comparisons carry expectations, and Eagulls seem to still be working out whether to embrace or elude these expectations as it seeeks its place in the canon.

On opener "Lemontrees," Mr. Mitchell's vocals were a curiosity, and echoed the anguished yelp of Robert Smith. Yet later, when the quintet covered Human League's "Seconds," Mitchell struggled to achieve the expected nuance. Even so, he did make for an engaging focal point, bopping around the stage like a drunkard staggering home from the pub. This did little to distract from a problematic live mix, however. His vocal melodies often rhythmically followed the lead guitar lines, but the sound was so muddy the standout track "Euphoria" was largely indistinguishable from its neighbor on Ullages, "My Life In Rewind." On big choruses, Mitchell sounded overwrought, sometimes jarring. Elsewhere his slurred syllables were as blurred as the grainy visuals projected behind the band.

On its recordings, Eagulls deliver well-honed dynamics, but Thursday the band presented a persistent wall of sound that swallowed up some of the music's depth and texture. At best, the constant chug of guitars -– recalling now and again The Smiths' colossal anthem "How Soon Is Now" –- served to glamorize the despair that is a post-punk band's stock-in-trade, but the lack of dynamics weighed down the performance, particularly as Eagulls hit a succession of mid-tempo tracks mid-set. Tunes from the band's first LP fared much better, particularly the fevered "Yellow Eyes." As Mitchell sang "I can't see it," fans must have been inclined to believe him, as he wended his head around, eyes shut tightly. The rocker "Possessed" from the first LP is an ever-reliable set closer and Thursday night was no different, with Mitchell snarling the title atop guitars that buzzed and shimmered. Its impact on the crowd was clear, and the song's amplified ferocity was a reminder of what a fine live act Eagulls can be when it play to its strengths. Traams and 99 Watts opened. -- Theo Gorst, Special Correspondent

Eagulls: Facebook | Internets

May 11, 2016

Together Again: Clicky Clicky Presents Two Nights of Adventurous Electronics And Under-Pop May 18+19

Together Again: Clicky Clicky Presents Two Nights of Adventurous Electronics and Under-Pop May 18+19

Hey, remember a year ago when we did this thing? It was a righteous time, orchestrated by indefatigable Clicky Clicky Staff Writer and Producer of Clicky Clicky Presents Dillon Riley in partnership with the fine people of Boston's Together Festival. Well, this Sunday Together launches its latest annual run, its seventh and vastest yet, they've agreed to have us back, and we're delighted. Mr. Riley has been hard at work orchestrating another ambitious two-night stand featuring a range of decidedly forward-thinking electronic and under-pop sounds. First up: next Wednesday, May 18, Clicky Clicky presents a solo performance from nü-romantic electropop standout St. Nothing, the refracted folk rock of All Talk, and vibrant indie pop from the Berklee-spawned ensemble Aüva. That will assuredly be a very good time, but the energy doesn't let up the following night. Thursday, May 19, we present for your sensual pleasure a special performance from heroic dreamers Strange Mangers, who will be reinterpreting their sighing guitar band sound via various electronic means. Equally as exciting will be strong vibes from techno producer and selector Lychee and a set of kaleidoscopic electro-spazz from Cyberbully (one of the many musical guises of Elizabeth Colour Wheel's Alec Jackson). Inman Square's proverbial living room, the great Lilypad, hosts both nights.

We'd like to advise you not to fuck this up and leave it at that. But we can do you one better and direct you to music embedded below from each of the artists performing. If you want to get down to brass tacks with key tracks, here's four to get you started: (1) Cyberbully's protracted enigma "Descent|Pts1-3," which takes an "everything plus the kitchen sink" approach but remains focused, sometimes to the point of claustrophobia, not to mention paranoia; (2) St. Nothing's big, throw-back synth-pop ballad "Align," a song so hook-heavy you could scrap it for parts and make an entire Depeche Mode AND Thompson Twins album; (3) Lychee's recent set at Cambridge, Mass.' legendary Middlesex Lounge goes deep on chill, but stick around for the return of the boom bap when Søren Nordström's "Transmission IV" hits the mix; (4) it sounds like Aüva will have new music for fans this year, but with spring kicking into gear for reals it is hard to stop listening to its infectious confection "Into Place," the opener to last year's Light Years EP. For more detailed details on either night -- and to pledge your allegiance to one or both -- hit the relevant Faceblorp pages: Night One; Night Two. We're looking forward to being with you. Do be sure to check out all that Together has offer -- just make sure to not wipe yourself out before our shows roll around. Ringo peace signs.



May 8, 2016

Today's Hotness: Hellier Ulysses, Lacing

Hellier Ulysses -- Prime Example (detail)

>> This reviewer thought that this day might come, when an indie rock release would cross his path and defy all efforts to categorize or "name" it (well, not _all_ efforts. -- Ed.). It arrived earlier this spring: Prime Example, the sophomore set from Atlanta's Hellier Ulysses, is exactly that. Issued on cassette in mid-March via Brooklyn's OSR label, the set offers up seven jazzy, minute-long post-punk cubist head-scratchers that nevertheless remain catchy and pack enough ideas to power an hour-long double album. Comprised of musicians "Advantage Fire, Humidity Ott, Pit Moder and San Forest," the Georgia quartet operates at the frontier of imagination and musicianship. During preview track and collection highlight "Genesis Is Dispersion" the group funks through a tough, Stax-styled guitar intro before sidelining into a brief, country-fried blues verse and a helium-voiced response, before the sweetly sung hook "I just can't let go" floats over three breezy chords. The warm, vintage-sounding and playfully overdubbed words and effects that pepper this tape call to mind '60s pop experimentalists like Godz, The Mothers of Invention and The Velvet Underground at their most unhinged and quirky -- a rarely employed inspiration within more conventional indie rock that works great here as deployed with mathematical precision by Hellier Ulysses. "Eat the Police," another highlight, balances clattering No Wave dissonance with bizarre time-signature fret runs and a hip-shaking disco beat. Really. In an age where so much new art seems to build upon the past, it is striking how much fresh humor, expression, originality and economy these four musicians conjure seemingly out of thin air. Prediction: in 40 years, a group of kids at the vanguard of 2060's youth culture will name-check Prime Example, and the world will have finally caught up to Hellier Ulysses' level of invention and hyperactivity. Get in on the ground floor now: order the cassette or grab the digital files from OSR right here. Hellier Ulysses' debut collection Hellier Ulysses was self-released by the band in 2013 and issued on cassette by Egg Paper Factory a year later. According to a statement at its web site, nine-year-old OSR is winding down operation in 2016; the outfit's commitment to releasing innovative music is commendable, and we hope the label's proprietors will remain involved with identifying and exposing talent in some fashion going forward. Stream Prime Example via the embed below. -- Edward Charlton

>> Whispered, mysterious, bruised and grinding: that's the way we prefer our classic shoegaze, and Chattanooga's Lacing seem to have -- in some sort of "Weird Science"-esque scenario -- taken those qualities and used them to create a pristine swimsuit model version of the sound. This, folks, is the stuff. On the quartet's four-track, self-released debut cassette Honey Glow, Lacing assaults the senses with tidal waves of distorted and treated guitar, crashing drums and barely-there vocals, creating crescendos of impressionistic melody all along the way. Ever since the twinned landmark albums of 1992 -- The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa's Susurrate and Lilys' earth-shaking In The Presence of Nothing -- this reviewer has pined for similarly hushed and alluringly veiled music that retains a live, practice-room exuberance. Honey Glow deliciously scratches that very specific itch. A lone, flanged guitar ignites opener "Gloom" (a guitar effect rarely pulled off tastefully, we might add) before the figurative skies figuratively open up and thunder and rain flood the stereo field. The drumming, in particular, gives these songs a spirited immediacy, and echoes the sturdy gallop of post-'gaze groups like Hum. Collection highlight "Needle" switches primarily between two sections in the style of My Bloody Valentine, but does so with such manic fervor that its three minutes feel like one. And, after three short and pounding doses of noise-pop perfection, Lacing closes its abbreviated set with an epic title track. The tune offers 11 minutes of glistening sheets of suspended-animation guitar notes that accumulate into sense of time-traveling curiosity. Everything about Honey Glow leaves the listener wanting more; in our modern age of over-sharing and lack of subtlety, the EP offers a powerful and addicting experience and marks Lacing as one of the most vital concerns of 2016. Buy the cassette now from their Bandcamp wigwam here -- at press time only seven of these gems remained. To circle back on the Lilys record briefly: Frontier Records strongly hinted here in March that it will reissue In The Presence Of Nothing this fall. Keep your fingers crossed. -- Edward Charlton

May 7, 2016

That Was The Show That Was: Waking Windows Night 1 with Hop Along, Speedy Ortiz and Chain & The Gang

That Was The Show That Was: Waking Windows Night 1 with Hop Along, Speedy Ortiz and Chain and The Gang

[PHOTO: Dillon Riley] Hey! We we sent intrepid Staff Writer Dillon Riley to this weekend's Waking Windows music festival in Winooski, VT! He's filing reports! Even though today's his birthday! This is the first one! Exclamation points!

>>Hop Along, Outside Stage, 8 PM

Philly phenoms Hop Along were the second act we took in on the first night of Waking Windows, and the quartet easily impressed with a crowd-pleasing set culled mostly from the towering 2015 Saddle Creek release Painted Shut, one of Clicky Clicky's favorite records of last year. While the set was plagued early on with gear issues -- namely a blown bass head that left the band soldiering on as a trio for the vast majority of the incredible "Waitress" while Tyler Long scrambled to borrow a new unit -- the performance was otherwise thrilling. Bigger bangers like "Waitress," "Powerful Man" and the opener "Texas Funeral" were given strong, punchy and fuzz-fueled workouts, the group's earlier material also shined brightly. "Tibetan Pop Stars," the band's breakthrough track from its un-eff-withable 2012 debut Get Disowned and arguably [we might argue the point -- Ed.] the quartet's strongest song to date, persists as an electrifying reminder of how Hop Along had its shit together long before the wide success of Painted Shut.

>> Speedy Ortiz, Outside Stage, 9 PM

As fronter and guitarist Sadie Dupuis announced between songs on Friday night, last night's performance was Speedy Ortiz's third at Waking Windows, albeit the indie juggernaut's first as a main stage headliner. It's safe to say a lot has changed for the foursome in the span of time those three appearances represent. After opening with "Tiger Tank," a stand-out tune from the band's 2013 LP Major Arcana [review] and as good a candidate as any for the office of Band Sonic Calling Card -– Speedy whipped through a heroic, comprehensive set that spanned a majority of the act's vital oeuvre. Alongside stirring recitations of material from 2015’s fantastic sophomore set Foil Deer were heavy, fantastically erratic versions of early singles including "Taylor Swift" and its flip-side "Swim Fan." While already known as a singular and formidable lyrical and music talent from her recordings, Dupuis' idiosyncratic tics are particularly captivating on stage, where she enlarges and drags certain melodies, often leading into vast choruses or diving straight into sharp vocal pivots. This can be dizzying or even slightly chilling, as she fearlessly veers toward destroying the pace of certain songs before sliding into their massive hooks. "Indoor Soccer," one of the foursome's earliest and most cryptic gems was delivered as a final salvo, and the song's crushing and silly final admission served as an almost cruel reminder of how much Speedy Ortiz will be missed in Boston area now that Ms. Dupuis has moved south.

>> Chain & The Gang, The Monkey House, 12:10 AM Give Or Take

Chain & The Gang, the long-running, eclectic rock outfit fronted by former Nation Of Ulysses singer, D.C. scene legend and noted raconteur Ian Svenonious, seized the stage after midnight in matching pin striped suits. After a brief introduction from a festival representative and an impressive high kick they were off, loosing cuts from their late aughts run of full lengths. Interspersed between fast and loose versions of tunes like of "Detroit Music" and "Free Will" were wide-eyed and incorrigible dispatches from Svenonius. Preaching the importance of discretion, he at one point brought the cheers down and asked the crowd to not share the news of their set with anyone outside the Monkey House. Antics aside, the band ran through some particularly sharp takes from 2012's In Cool Blood, especially "Certain Kinds of Trash." That number, concerned with finding comfort in the old ways of doing things, feels like an apt anthem for a band that bends classicist influences to fit its own warped worldview. -- Dillon Riley

Hop Along: Bandcamp | Facebook
Speedy Ortiz: Bandcamp | Facebook | Internerds
Chain and The Gang: Bandcamp | Facebook

May 6, 2016

30: The Cure's Standing On A Beach - The Singles

30: The Cure's Standing On A Beach - The Singles

One of the larger milestones celebrated in the music press this week was the 27th anniversary of the release of The Cure's epochal classic Disintegration. A remarkable record, to be sure, and deserving of great praise. But we'd be remiss if we didn't mark in these electronic pages a different milestone, the release of the first The Cure record we ever owned, issued this day 30 years ago, a record that can rightfully be said to have played a part in spawning this publication. Wikipedia provides inconsistent information regarding its release date, stating in different places May 6 and May 19. As the former was actually a Tuesday, the then-traditional day of the week for new releases in the States, we're going with May 6. So happy anniversary, Standing On A Beach - The Singles.

The facts of our first exposure to The Cure are increasingly remote, but we distinctly recall seeing the video for "Let's Go To Bed" in our grandparents' basement (they had one of those old-ass cable boxes with the three tiers of oblong buttons that was attached to the teevee with a cord like an astronaut to spacecraft). The catchy, curious song was blessed with steady MTV rotation, likely as much because of director Tim Pope's intriguing, egg-smashing, back-painting video as the fine pop song-craft. We suppose MTV might have played other singles between LGTB's release in '82 and that of the singles and b-sides compilation Standing On A Beach in early May of '86, but we can't recall seeing another Cure video until the re-release of the titanic indie pop tune "Boys Don't Cry" as a single to herald the issuance of said hits comp. Not that we were really looking. Until Diamond Dave left Van Halen in mid-'85, our focus was very, very heavily tilted toward metal.

Yes, we understand that a singles-and-b-sides comp doesn't qualify under certain purist definitions of a proper record. To a certain extent we even share in that bias. But the record. Oh, how the record blew our mind when a cherished childhood friend popped the Standing On A Beach cassette into a Sony Sports Boombox (remember the yellow jawn with the rubberized, sand-proof buttons?) during a trip that spring and pushed play. It was during a camping-type outing, and there was plenty of fun to be had, but all we wanted to do all day was get back to the tape deck and press play again and again. At the time in '86, at the tender age of 12, we knew not of the terms "indie rock," maybe not even "college rock," so we recall the aforementioned friend arguing that The Cure could be lumped under the dubious descriptor "soft hardcore." Which sounds ridiculous now, as even then we had some understanding of contemporary punk and new wave, but that should give a sense of how the breadth and depth of Standing On A Beach left us awe-struck and grasping for ways to describe it.

With the release of Standing On A Beach, The Cure became the band that first fired the synapses that still fuel our music obsession. The record was a revelation: setting aside all of the singles that didn't crack MTV, let alone garner commercial radio airplay (for the latter, that was pretty much all of them), listening to Standing On A Beach triggered a tantalizing, even troubling thought: if all of these b-sides are so excellent, then what else is MTV, commercial radio, Rolling Stone and Spin keeping from us? What else were the gatekeepers -- the lamestream media, if you will -- not telling us about? The answer, as we're certain all of this blog's readers know, was quite a lot. And so we began searching, digging more deeply, and in the process became the music fan we are today.

It's worth noting that Standing On A Beach was released in a number of configurations across as many formats, and that the cassette was the greatest of them all, as it contained all of the b-sides and certain exclusive mixes. Wikipedia does a good job of breaking all of that down, but the greater point is that those b-sides were exceptionally hard to track down in the pre-Internet era for those of us who wore out the tape. Might an announcement be in the offing, of a double-LP reissue of Standing On A Beach? Frankly, we expected that for Record Store Day, and were disappointed that it didn't materialize. And we expect that was the last meaningful window for the release of such a thing. At the next five-divisible anniversary, Gen X-ers that comprise much of the likely market for such a trinket will be that much further removed, the present vinyl resurgence may have vaporized. Sure, the Join The Dots compilation largely obviated the need for such a reissue, but the comp is sort of overkill, innit? And, of course, not on vinyl. In all of its iterations, Standing On A Beach was manageable, the discrete era it addressed particularly meaningful, and it's our feeling that a vinyl reissue of the original cassette version of Standing On A Beach would be splendid. But it seems like it will not be.

Let's have an upbeat ending to this overlong celebration, though. The Cure are touring this summer, 33 shows in 26 North American cities as well as festival dates and a show in New Zealand. The legendary act plays a long-sold out show in Boston June 16. Might they perform the compilation on the tour? Not likely. But either way we have the music, and we've posted YouTube videos below for you to enjoy which recreate Standing On A Beach. Try to hear it all like it's May of '86 again. Thanks for reading.

The Cure: Facebook | Internerds

May 1, 2016

Today's Hotness: Close Lobsters, Today Junior, Fog Lake

Close Lobsters -- Under London Skies (detail)

>> The work of Scottish indie pop four Close Lobsters had largely eluded our attention until recently beyond a certain key comp appearance, but the band's recent releases count among our favorite finds of 2016. The act emerged with the C86 scene (literally) and enjoyed a dynamite run through the remaining '80s, sharing bills with bands including Primal Scream back when you had no idea who the Primals were. They then initially yanked their cords sometime in the '90s. Fortunately, Close Lobsters were drawn close once more several years ago, and have been releasing new music just as vital and delightful as that of decades past. Increasingly crucial U.S. label Shelflife will issue a new EP from the quartet later this spring titled Desire & Signs, which includes two dynamite tunes, "Under London Skies" b/w "Wander Epic Part II." The splendid A-side features keen hooks and wonderfully world-weary vocals that mourn a London gone by ("...this is the London of The Clash..."). Guitars sparkle and tambourines crack within an arresting wall of sound, while singer Andrew Burnett drawls his observations of '81, '84, '87, '88 and so forth. The slightly longer "Wander Epic Part II" patiently bops along to wood block strikes through the first verse, but its determined fidelity to the mid-tempo beat conjures a mesmerizing groove just as the chorus's pretty chord changes hit. Burnett pleads "baby come on" into a breakdown, and then the song sparks back to life with a swell of sizzling cymbal that heralds a long denouement that slowly cycles lead guitar lines. Shelflife releases Desire & Signs in a limited edition of 500 gold-colored 7" vinyl singles and digital download June 3, and you can pre-order the set directly from the label right here. This is not the first time the label and band have worked together. Shelflife previously released Close Lobsters' praiseworthy Kunstwerk In Spacetime single in May 2015; the set includes the numbers "Now Time" b/w "New York City In Space" and remains available for purchase from the label right here. Fire Records released last year Firestation Towers, a 3-LP set compiling the band's towering output from '86-'89; this can be purchased directly from Close Lobsters' Bandcamp yert right here. Close Lobsters play a long, long in the works gig at London's 100 Club next month, and you'd be dumb not to go if you are able. Stream "Under London Skies" via the Soundcloud embed below.

>> Clicky Clicky was quite taken with the debut LP from Boston's Today Junior last summer, and we've eagerly anticipated new music ever since. The Allston Rock City-based indie trio finally obliged in recent weeks with a pair of appealing new tunes, "Leaving Easy" and "Blunt Breath," released as free-to-you, standalone digital singles with "Beavis and Butt-Head"-inspired art. The threesome led with the latter song, but it is the uptempo and melodious "Leaving Easy" that has sunken its hooks more deeply into our consciousness. The song rocks from within knee-deep, surfy, and nostalgia-inspiring reverb; from there the threesome bash 'n' pops through an arresting down-and-up chord sequence at speed and toward a bright guitar solo that memorably percolates through the song's third minute. "Blunt Breath" is fuzzier, more rough-hewn but equally peppy, and features a vocal riff that is pretty much the indie rock version of yodeling courtesy of fronter Harry O'Toole. Today Junior has already had a busy spring of shows; its next gigs are an all-ages soiree at Jamaica Plains' Midway Cafe May 8 and an appearance the following Sunday as part of the rescheduled Harvard Square Mayfair. Get yourself appropriately pumped by streaming "Leaving Easy" and "Blunt Breath" via the Bandcamp embeds below; click through to download the tracks. Flesh Records reissued the band's debut Ride The Surf on blue cassette last month; snag a copy right here.

>> We've been wanting to tell you this for so long: Clicky Clicky faves Fog Lake returned in late March with a brace of tunes to tease a forthcoming, fourth long-player slated for release on Orchid Tapes in the fall. De facto A-side "Rattlesnake" sadly waltzes in a manner reminiscent of the great Benjamin Shaw, but St. John, Newfoundland-based Fog Lake here achieves an appreciable swing -- largely via tasteful drumming -- for a band that typically operates in a wispy realm of beautiful, breathy understatement. Some of that dynamism can likely be ascribed to the contributions of Kenney Purchase, Nick Hopkins and Cory Linehan, as at least Mr. Purchase has been (and may presently be) part of a more recent live configuration of Fog Lake. There seems to be an increased focus on lyricism, as well, as band mastermind Aaron Powell seems particularly voluble, fatalistically promising "I"ll make you see it, all the ways you snuck into my head, tearing holes in my sense till the good part of me died, and the trembling stopped from your rattlesnake bite and it all went dark." In an email, Mr. Powell characterized the figurative flip-side "Strung Back Around" as a demo, and promises a version of the track will appear on the planned long-player, but there is no noticeable decline in the songwriting or sound quality here -- if anything the song is stronger, and could easily have led this digital two-fer. Distant piano chimes from within Powell's stirring, gossamer layers of reverbed guitars, and indeed the ambient wash almost entirely consumes the song's relatively jaunty rhythm. Powell's high tenor cuts through the mix, ever regretting, trying to give shape to that which cannot be shrugged off. Fog Lake released one of our favorite records of 2015, its third albumVictoria Park, also through Orchid Tapes. No title or release date for LP4 have been made public. Stream "Rattlesnake" and "Strung Back Around" via the Bandcamp embed below.

April 29, 2016

That Was The Show That Was: Ought with Trash Kit | The Dome, London | 26 April

That Was The Show That Was: Ought with Trash Kit | The Dome, London | 26 April

[PHOTO: Theo Gorst] Montreal-based Ought arrived Tuesday at London's Tufnell Park Dome in the midst of what seems like a never-ending tour, only four months since their last London appearance, and the surfeit of shows has the Canadian quartet in prime form. Sure, the band's set lists seem to vary only rarely, but where spontaneity may fall to the wayside a polished professionalism reigns. The result, at least earlier this week in London, was 80 minutes of taut indie rock, deployed to maximal effect.

The first half of Ought's set focused on music from its 2015 sophomore release Sun Coming Down, while songs from More Than Any Other Day –- the band's debut from the prior year -- consumed much of the remainder. The whole of the show underscored the intricacies and idiosyncrasies of Ought's music, in which paranoia regularly spars with a life-affirming jubilance. During "Men For Miles," fronter and guitarist Tim Darcy channeled the dystopian drawl of legendary The Fall provocateur Mark E. Smith, but elsewhere Mr. Darcy elided a frantic optimism, particularly during "The Weather Song." The collision of these opposing dispositions erected a thrilling tension during the performance, and is key to Ought being a particularly vital live act.

Sun Coming Down's "Beautiful Blue Sky" is the centerpiece of that record and proved to be the still point of turning for the night's performance as well. While on the album it is surrounded by other tracks that breathlessly change pace, the band's opus lingers when given time -- and apparently the blue lights illuminating the stage -- to meaningfully fade. For his part, during the song Darcy recounts small talk and other trappings of modernity until they become devoid of meaning. As his vocals left off Tuesday night, the hypnotic bassline that began the song continued on, figuratively echoing the track's repeated line "that is all that I left."

Elsewhere, the disconnect between hope and hopelessness was perfectly articulated during the rousing set closer "Today, More Than Any Other Day." The tune began with a swirling, murky guitar line reminiscent of Slint. Over this Darcy speak-sang "we're sinking deeper," before propulsive drumming from Tim Keen drove the song toward its thrilling next stage. The crowd lapped up the fronter's peculiar and captivating mannerisms -- which vacillated between camp and strict -– and readily permitted Darcy to lead them through the song's frantic paces. When he sang "one more time," the venue was a sea of wagging forefingers, the front rows mirroring the singer's enthralling movements, providing a fitting display of reverence at the end of a magnificent show.

South London post-punk trio Trash Kit opened. While Ought share with the late, great Talking Heads' a penchant for galloping guitars (and paranoia), the support act winsomely conveyed the naïveté of The Raincoats and their turn-of-the-'80s Rough Trade peers. Primarily performing music from its latest record, Confidence, guitar, bass and drums alluringly interlocked with the rhythm section's global grooves, perfectly complementing the clipped cries of fronter Rachael Aggs. -- Theo Gorst, Special Correspondent

Ought: Facebook | Internerds
Trash Kit: Facebook | Internerds

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That Was The Show That Was: Ought, LVL UP, Diet Cig | Great Scott, Boston | 30 Sept.