I write the motes for this review summer is on the verge of kicking off. Memorial
day weekend last week kicked things
off and, even though summer might not have the same meaning to adults as it
does for kids, the vibe is changing as people try to plan something resembling
vacations (especially given everyone being downsized these days). As for me, things
are up in the air and I’m
trying to get by just like everybody else these days. However, I have plans for
this weekend with
hopes of snaring an interview to kick off the TTWN’s local band profile section
(see issue 95 for said interview – ed) and learned of this show at
Lemp. So I was off to south St. Louis
for this show.
arrived at Lemp about 15 minutes or so before the Ultraviolents played their
opening set. After a brief sound check,
the St. Louis based foursome dove head first into a set of noise powered shred
rock fueled and driven by effects laden guitar and saxophone for their wall of
noise approach. Their songs are
aggressive and sometimes off kilter, yet their music has a somewhat secure base
in indie/art rock circles. While I was
unfamiliar with the band’s songs there’s something here that has me curious
about what will happen to the Ultraviolents as the down continues down
somewhere down the road. I need to see
this band again before I fully make a judgment.
the opening act, We Are Hex arrived and began setting up with speed and
precision before kicking off their set.
By the time it was their turn to play, we were all ready. This band offered
up a type of semi art rock
meets post HC indie where punk, space rock, indie and noise combine as
one. Blending ethereal guitar sounds
with aggressive beats and sometimes moody, even eerie, synthesizers, their
songs manage to walk the fine line between spacey chill and in your face
rockers. Hard driving yet somewhat hard
to typecast, We Are Hex put on a show that held the crowd and rocked our asses
off. Even though they might give you a
case of keyboard envy (looking at their stage rigs, you’ll see why), this band
will rock you in their own unique way.
If you get a chance to see We Are Hex, by all means do so and feel free
to make up your own mind.
|We Are Hex
I knew a little bit about Gay Beast since I picked up their
split 7” with TWIN when I saw the latter band a while back, but didn’t know what they’d be like live. Once
they started, their set took things in yet another direction entirely. Musically, they use guitars,
drums, synths, and the occasional saxophone to create a hard-edged occasionally obtuse type of music that exists somewhere
between indie rock skronk and free jazz with the melodic and the atonal becoming blurry in the process. Their
songs have the appearance of chaos but actually use structure and harmony to their own ends. While
many people might consider these guys a math rock band, Gay Beast’s jazz and experimental leanings put their own spin
on the aural crossfire that emerges when they play (and can be difficult to explain to the uninitiated). They
aren’t the most accessible band in the worlds but this band has a spark that kept my interest and makes me wonder what
they’ll do next. I’m glad to finally see them live.
the show I talked to a couple people and managed to score an interview (see 17thanniversary issue for interview
with We Are Hex - ed), but eventually it was time to head out. Anyways, it was good
to have a brief break from the chaos and wondering what was going to be next. A good night out for what
would be a long (though somewhat necessary weekend).