Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Live: The Depreciation Guild

I've been trying to catch these guys for a while now and I keep getting to shows after they've played. But finally, I made it!

I had heard The Depreciation Guild was better recorded than live, and I guess that might be true, but I think it's misleading - because live, they are still friggin' incredible. The guitar work is some of the best in today's shoegaze scene - dense and engulfing, but with a rare attention to detail. Their unending wall of sound is garnered with riffs and melodies, subtle but gorgeous. In this, they come closer than anyone nowadays (except maybe Austin's Ringo Deathstarr) in keeping alive the spirit of My Bloody Valentine. Like MBV, Depreciation Guild is definitely a two-guitar band, and they layer much more than just chords and textures.

Photo by Katelyn Roof
The Depreciation Guild

Also remniscent of MBV is the drumming by Christoph Hochheim, whose rapid-fire snare fills are a decent immitation of MBV drummer Colm O'Ciosoig. But the band is not entirely an MBV wanna-be - their use of electronics sets them apart and there is something (though exactly what, I can't quite figure out) very remniscent of Radiohead.

The band only fails in the vocals. Granted, in shoegaze music such as this, singing is really not a focal point, often just another texture in the sound. But Depreciation Guild don't use it well - even as a texture, it should be an interesting one. But they are young and I have high hopes they'll get there eventually. And probably soon, given the sheer amount of talent they show on stage.

Visually, the band is appealing too. Aside from the simple attractiveness of all three members, the band has great visualization - instead of projecting some distracting film in the background, they project blocks of color that enhance without distracting from the music. Good choice!

All in all, it was an outstanding show! I'll see you all at the next one!

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