Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Live: Pterodactyl, Fiasco, Childbite

When: 11/13
Where: Death By Audio

Michigan's Child Bite stopped off at Death By Audio a couple of weeks ago and I caught about half their set. They may boast strong northern-Midwest accents, but Child Bite are no stereotype. Their songs are wild and aggressive and fun, capped with spastic Pere Ubu-esque vocals. Any singer whose clearest influence is David Thomas is a singer I love. The performance was high energy and the sound delicious. True, the band wouldn't make my list of all-time favorites in the punk/DIY scene (their individual songs didn't strike me as quite as memorable as those of the very best), but they are definitely worth checking out next time they're in town! [MySpace]

Fiasco played next, and this band might just make that short list of favorites. I couldn't see them at all, since they played from the floor, but what I heard was amazing. It was just one long barrage of high-speed, high energy punk with a slight "post-hardcore" edge (by which I mean there was some serious technical prowess in addition to punk's loud/fast rules). And in addition to all that, there were very memorable songs with great - if intentionally sloppy - melodies. The ring of moshers around the band prevented me from getting too close but I can't think of a bad thing to say about what I heard. Not even anything lukewarm. A+ [MySpace]

Pterodactyl was, of course, the reason I made it out to the show. There's not much to say about the band that I haven't already said. They are boldly original and yet still appealing. Their music is made up of frantic guitars (usually on some major key arpeggios) and frantic drums and slightly more measured, high vocals, all delivered with true passion. All together, it evokes exploration, thrill and pure ecstasy.

And the band only gets better. Since I first heard them last spring, they've never stopped evolving. Their live shows have become increasingly intense, and their music always more exciting. It's so fast and complex, you feel the band and audience alike are holding on for dear life. And now, more than ever.

The only concern I've had about Pterodactyl was that they'd abstract too much from their songs in a way that would become unfocused. After this show, I'm not too worried about that anymore. The band continues to reinvent their songs, morphing some entirely, but the new versions have just as much punch as the originals, and sometimes more. At this show, Pterodactyl incorporated experiments and improvisation without devolving into "jam band" monotony. It's possible yet they'll go down that road - many a great band has - but so far, so good! So good! [MySpace]

No comments: