Last Night Animal House
posted by November 5 at 14:19 PMon
Clipd Beaks, Partman Parthorse, Casy & Brian @ the Comet - 11/03/07
So, it all worked out fine. Nobody got hurt, not even in the feelings department. Brian tells me I may have gotten the wrong version of Casy & Brian’s new cd, Catbees, and that I should give the proper release a listen before I judge it too harshly. But I forgot to grab one at the show. Their show was tighter than I’ve ever seen them, and the very things that make their cd drag a bit for me—barked raps, wild drumming, simple synth hooks—make their live show pretty fun. There’s still something about them that seems bitter or jaded compared to the posi-pop of Brian’s former band Dalmatians. When he sings about not sending press releases (“we don’t play that game”), playing in basements (“literally underground”), and not bowing to external pressures (“we made the record that we want to hear”), there’s something almost sour about it.
Partman Parthorse are more sneering than sour, and with good reason—their show was the rawest, most radical set I’ve seen from them yet. Singer Gary Smith was stripped down and singing while hoisting a monitor over his shoulder (he’s in obscenely good shape), while the band progressed from brute drone to rhythmic riffing to total noise freakout. Their combination of dark drones, repeated riffs, and half-sung half-spoken vocals reminded me a little bit of Pissed Jeans’ bad rock vibes.
They’re recording new material right now, and if last night’s show was any indication, their next album should be a blast.
Oakland’s Clipd Beaks were a hash-stoned mess of sound, way more loud and aggressive than last time they played Seattle, when they may have been toning it down for the sake of Gallery 1412’s neighbors. The band were an overwhelming force of pounding percussion, fractured guitars and keys, echoing vocals, and occasionally trumpet blare. Individual members thrashed and flailed at their instruments, and singer Nic Barbeln moaned into dual microphones when not beating a drum, playing trumpet, or messing with effects pedals. I was missing the precision post-everything prog of Battles across the street, but Clipd Beaks felt like an alternate, ghetto-blasted version of that band, one just as dedicated to dense sound manipulation and progress but completely given over to animal instinct rather than refined robotic impulses.