Sunday, December 7, 2008

Wet Hair w/ Temptation, Peaking Lights and Aerosol Constellations@The Sweatshop

For the most part, Thursday night's show at the Sweatshop went off pretty well. Aerosol Constellations did an unusual set where they began with their usual intricate droning, but after about a ten minute build up, launched into a thuggish/sludgy punk jam. Jeremy bellowed the vocals and hammered on the bass while Bill thumped away on the drums. Slowly, the duo brought things back into the drone. Quite a different set from these guys. I'd love to see them do the hardcore act on it's own.

Temptation, who seemed very promising on their myspace page, seemed to have a meltdown on stage and weren't able to complete their set. The band consisted of six members: Two dudes on electronics (including NVH of Six Organs and Comets On Fire fame!) and four gals on drums, bass, guitar and vocals. The first song seemed to go over well, but then the drummer just faded out and couldn't keep time, causing some of the members to become visibly pissed. They stopped playing about halfway through the third track and then left the stage. Bit of a bummer, but Peaking Lights more than made up for it.

Peaking Lights, comprised of a husband/wife duo, sat behind a wall of electronics and synths and proceded to blow the crowd away. Indra Dunis rocked some simple watery synth lines and cooed her vocals through a wall of submerged delay. Meanwhile, Aaron Coyes played guitar that seemed to be run through a literal tower of electronics, creating a swirling haze of warm guitar drone. Did I mention the dub beats? The whole set was backed up by midpace dub beats, which explains the reggae fascination that the duo have on their myspace and blog. "Pocahaunted with dub beats" was how it was described during the show, and I would have to agree. One of the best sets I've seen all year.

Wet Hair's duo of Shawn Reed and Ryan Garbes (ex-Raccoo-oo-oon) definitely brought the tribal vibe of their previous band Raccoo-oo-oon. Shawn rocked a table of electronics and energetically chanted his nonsensical vocals, while Ryan mostly manned the drums. I can't help but compare their set to the Raccoo-oo-oon albums I've spent so much time with, but I found Wet Hair to be more of a stripped down and backwoods version of their former group. They also had a bit of the erratic dub element that Peaking Lights had, making them excellent touring pals. If they are coming to a town near you, I advise you not to miss out on either of them.

Here is a two part full set I found on youtube of Wet Hair playing earlier this year...

Part 1

Part 2

Peaking Lights in Iowa City earlier this year

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