Caspian, 65daysofstatic, The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am Not Afraid To Die at The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.
Leading post-rock band Caspian was dealt a harsh blow just four months ago, when founding bass player Chris Friedrich died unexpectedly. They were able to recover quickly, recruiting Jani Zubkovs to anchor that end of the rhythm section and touring Europe in support of HIM. A new EP is also done and ready for release next Tuesday, and they kicked off their North American tour in front of an enthusiastic, sold-out hometown crowd. The instrumental-based, LOUDquietLOUD field is getting crowded, but when a band is capable of writing songs like "Fire Made Flesh," it's easy to see why Caspian has clawed their to the top of that particular heap. The early days of the band were thunderously echoed by the progression of "Quovis," "Further Up," and "Further In" and their later work has shown maturation via the use of additional texture. "Halls Of The Summer" include the jagged electronic edges that Mogwai has used to color their songs, and the ending drum circle of "Sycamore" was a cathartic way to close down the regular set.
The last time I saw 65daysofstatic was when The Cure hand-picked them as tour openers in 2007, which turns out was also the last time they'd been to the US. I hadn't kept current with their output and was surprised to hear they'd just released their sixth record, Wild Light. The early songs of their set had the needle swung far too much into the dance/electronic area, and it was unclear at times whether the drums and guitars they were touching were actually responsible for the sound coming from the PA. After a while, this pseudo gabber/rock hybrid dissapated and the crunch came back to their sound.
Just when you thought emo was dying a peaceful death, opening band The World Is A (yeah, can't be arsed to type the whole pretentiousness out) found a way to graft its ugly hide over the bones of post-rock, and ended up with seven members making the sounds that a quartet should be capable of. Whether or not those sounds need to be heard is a different problem.
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