Monday, March 8, 2010

Titus Andronicus and Parts and Labor at Bowery Ballroom 3.6.10: A Tale of Awesome Drumming

How fucking awesome was this show? Too bad for you, resident film critic Chris Cabin, but you missed greatness.

Billed as a CD release party but since that term sounds like a 7th grade circle jerk, we'll just call it an awesome concert with two awesome bands (sorry first openers, didn't get to check it, I was running through Lost on the Roku (parentheses within parentheses: Roku is the greatest thing ever) because I'm a noob and I need to catch up before the series finale) which made for an awesome time.

Parts and Labor and then Titus Andronicus were so good as a one-two punch, my whiskey soda actually tasted better during their sets.

Parts and Labor is a band that fuses what is be weighty and excellent electronic melodies and modern punk rock into sonic crunches; each song is propelled by some very, very heavy drumming. I don't think I've heard a rock drummer able to get a bigger, rumbling sound out of their set in a long time. Of course, Bowery has great sound but this was insane, the guy was a machine. Tom toms can be powerful pieces to the overall feel of the music and this band had it so right, moving with an unwavering speed that was perfect for shuffling your feet. The one problem was the vocals were a bit on the quiet end for the bass player. The keyboard and almost pushy use of non-guitar sounds was invigorating; you weren't watching a chi chi indie band, but a band that believes in their sound and looks comfortable. The music is pretty simple when you strip it down, but the melodies are very strong and they are able to dress up the songs with a lot of power. They just feel contemporary and it's really interesting to listen to them.

Great sound continued when Titus took the stage; the drums sounded like you were listening to a studio cut. In my review of their new album The Monitor (which officially releases tomorrow), I praised just about everything. Their concert left me with an even better appreciation for their epic songs; it's just really awesome to hear live. During "Four Score and Seven":

"When they see the kind of person you really are,
You won't be laughing so hard, no
you won't be laughing so hard, no
you won't be laughing, you won't be LAUGHING, no
you won't be laughing so haaaaaaaaaaard..."

and then the lead singer shouting, "I WAS BORN TO DIE JUST LIKE A MAN"...

...was cathartic; it was just so damn righteous.

Should I say something like, "Titus Andronicus is like an American version of The Pogues"? I mean I could, but then I guess the Dropkick Murphys would get jealous...

I don't know. I mean after seeing this band, they seem like they have a lot going for them and under all the yelling the music is very accessible and appealing. When I think about stuff going on in rock music I know there are plenty of fresh bands out there, but when you get down to it, there's only so much room on your iPod (or whatever you use). So you think, well goddamn, we need a big band(s) whose music can be a shining example of how to really rock. I'm always looking for that even though I never can keep up with the latest bands or anything. I've found it in Titus Andronicus.

I should also really start a "this is me typing as I'm dozing off to sleep" entries. I woke up and I was like what the hell was I writing.

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