29 October 2010

Young Empires, Hosannas, Black Elk Speaks @ Bug Jar

I put my ears in local music blog Tympanogram's hands last weekend and headed out to their latest show with minimal knowledge of the bands on the bill. I don't fall for every band they present by a long shot, but I was fairly sure that at least one of the bands on they booked would be worth my time. Turns out all 3 were well worth my time and money. But it also turns out that the headliner, as headliners should, stole the show. And stole the show in such a way that about 5 minutes into their set I had forgotten most of what I had seen earlier in the night. They wiped the slate clean and rewrote the evening to be all about them. The band was Young Empires from Toronto. They played a tight set of infectious and pulsating dance punk grooves somewhere in between !!! and LCD Soundsystem. They don't even have an album and apparently not enough material to even make an album yet. After a few tunes and not even 30m they called it a night. I thought they were joking but soon they were off the stage and the guitarist was extending the night by turning the place into a dance club with some nifty laptop action. Still, in that short time, they took the place by storm. Keep an eye on Young Empires!

Local band Black Elk Speaks opened the night with some adventurous rock tunes. I like where they are heading, lots of potential and upside, but still a bit rough around the edges, particularly in the vocal harmony department. Once they start tightening the screws I am excited to see where they can take it, definitely a foundation for something great.

Hosannas was up next. Electronic keyboard duo from Oregon. Now these guys had some damn fine vocal harmonies, I would say that was their greatest strength even. They played a nice dynamic set ranging all the way from a capella to full on electronic feast. Phantogram West is an apt description for their sound. And again, I think they would benefit greatly from a live drummer. I don't know if there is a dearth of quality drummers around or if bands are just trying to be more economical, but it is a bad trend I am seeing with so many bands opting to use synthesized drumbeats, Young Empires included.


Andy said...

We're really glad you made it out to the show - and, from the looks of it, had a good time.

Thanks for the videos.

Andy said...

Oh, and, here are the names of the songs in the videos:

Young Empires - White Doves
Black Elk Speaks - Noone
Hosannas - The People I Know

Liffy said...

Videos have been updated, thanks. And thanks for bringing in such good bands. Looking forward to the next one!