Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Live: Conversations With Enemies

When: 2/6
Where: Goodbye Blue Monday

I'd never heard of Conversations With Enemies until last weekend, when I stumbled upon their show in Brooklyn and thought I'd have a listen. Hailing from Philadelphia, the band plays pretty nondescript indie rock, but they do it quite well.

A four-piece, CWE played tightly, not as virtuosos but as a well-rehearsed, well-prepared band - I bet they could play those songs in their sleep. But they weren't sleeping, and in fact, brought a lot of energy to the stage, exchanging a criminal number of unabashed smiles with each other and the audience throughout the set. The songs themselves were extremely likable, often with three of the band's four members singing together in charmingly sloppy harmonies. The lyrics all revolved around stories about vampires, zombies and love, and were, of course, tongue-in-cheek - but not without a level of sincerity.

The band didn't do anything particularly fascinating - their beats and rhythms were basic 4/4 time, their melodies major-key and their arrangements strong but not notable in any way. They also seemed to neglect the keyboard - for most of the set, it did little more than take up space on stage. The few keyboard riffs that actually came to the fore were charming and it was a missed opportunity not to have more prominent keyboard lines more often.

All in all, it was an enjoyable set by a very enjoyable band - nothing to freak out about, but definitely not a bad way to spend an hour!


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