We've already mentioned here in these electronic pages the impressive, meticulous coordination of local media and radio appearances that Autochrome marshaled to promote this show, during which the Boston post-punk quartet turned in a breathtaking and commanding performance before a packed crowd at TT The Bear's Place in Cambridge last night. But we think one tiny detail from last night drives home the laser focus the act displayed in making the case for its brilliant debut Separation Realms. For its set last night, Autochrome arranged for footlights to illuminate the band. And to our admittedly untrained eye it appeared that the two colors used were the same two colors -- a particular hue of blue and red -- that the band used in an older band logo you can still see at Facebook here. Of course, the primary focus was the stirring delivery of the foursome's tightly coiled, skeletal rockers. Their performance of the early demo "Senses" soared, as did the renderings of the recently released promotional tracks "100 Series" and "We Are The System." But equally as inspiring were the tunes we didn't know, such as the uptempo "Secret Forms," which incited dancing among certain of the typically stiff Boston crowd, and the yearning and particularly melodic "Hands Over The City." After Autochrome capped its performance with the album closer "Zero Zero," the footlights were quickly collected, but our impression of the quartet as extremely professional and admirably precise -- but emotionally potent -- remains.
We arrived in time to see only the final three numbers of opener Night Fruit, but the rousing and dynamic rendition of its recent single "Dark Horse" that it used to close out its time on stage was remarkable. Following Autochrome were local shoegaze titans Soccer Mom and ambient punk heroes Young Adults. The former wowed the crowd with what may have been its most sonically punishing set to date, but even more notable than its gale force was the quartet's battery of new material. While the crowd thrilled to the crush groove of "Southern Bells" and the desperate, Sonic Youth-styled "(A) Natural History" from the 2011 10" You Are Not Going To Heaven, new tunes "Canoe" and "Orejae" (or at least that's how they were referred to in this set list -- note that the band didn't adhere to this list) -- were as stunning as they were loud. After some small delay relating to gear woes, top-liners Young Adults took the stage. Guitarist Chris Villon, who ended up utilizing Night Fruit's pedal board, offered the insightful remark that the fact that the four bands on the bill share so many influences made it particularly easy for him to borrow the gear he needed to make the set happen.
Then Young Adults delivered an incendiary performance that proved why it is one of the brightest stars in the constellation of Boston indie rock. From annihilating versions of "Impression" and "Wasting Time" from its 2010 debut Black Hole (which recently sold out in Japan, it's on Bandcamp here) to a spine-tingling encore that included a cover of Ride's epic "Decay," the otherwise fairly mild-mannered trio dominated the stage. Villon remarked that the band will release new music next month and embark on a short tour, and we are very eager to hear it. For their part, Autochrome, Soccer Mom and Night Fruit will each perform during the upcoming Deep Heaven Now 5 festival in early May, as well as a number of other local dates. Autochrome returns to TT The Bear's Place May 25, according to its Bandcamp page.
Listen to Separation Realms at Spotify here.
Buy Separation Realms from the band as a CD or download here.