Music, The Features, We Love Music

Hot Ticket: Holograms @ DC9, 12/4/13

Holograms (Photo courtesy Captured Tracks)

Holograms (Photo courtesy Captured Tracks)

Holograms, a post-punk quartet from Sweden, kick off a three-week tour of the United States starting in DC tomorrow at DC9. Yesterday, they unveiled a video for their energetic single “Luminous” from their second album, Forever, released a few short months ago.

As you can hear from the song, Holograms are a bit of a cousin to Sweden’s Iceage. They share a similar appreciation for hardcore punk without completely giving themselves over to it. The young twenty-something band members — Andreas Lagerström (vocals/bass), Anton Strandberg (drums), Anton Spetze (vocals/guitar) and Filip Spetze (synths) — bring a strong synth presence to the songs, however, giving them a more melodic post-punk edge — albeit one with a lot of frenetic shouting. It’s dystopian rock with a beat, and you can dance to it.

TV Ghost, hailing from Indiana, open, promising some gothy sounds by way of The Cure.

w/ TV Ghost
Wednesday, Dec. 4
Doors @8pm
$10 advance/$12 door
All ages

Music, The Features, We Love Music

We Love Music: Iceage, Dirty Beaches and Give @ Black Cat — 7/24/12

Photo courtesy of draugurinn
Iceage @ Iceland Airwaves 2011
courtesy of draugurinn

So I went into last night’s show with some misplaced expectations (therefore you should read the rest of this review with a grain of salt). Punk Danes Iceage played unfortunately predictable hardcore while Taiwanese noise popper Dirty Beaches presented a surprising cowboy score that sounded like machines meeting nature.

I read some press, listened to a few songs, and counted on some familiarity with the catalog at the label What’s Your Rupture? to get me started with Iceage. And so I was anticipating a post-punk band with hardcore overtones but instead I got a straight up hardcore band with a bit of melodic deftness.

Certainly, hardcore kids Iceage are not to blame for my misplaced anticipation. The four young men from Copenhangen thundered through roughly 10 two-minute songs, whipping up a good old-fashioned mosh pit in a sold-out show in the backstage of the Black Cat on Tuesday night.

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We Love Music

We Love Music: Darkest Hour @ 9:30 Club, 2/25/11

Atticus Tour @ 9:30 Club
All photos by Erin McCann

How was your weekend? Mine started off with a bang – as soon as I got off work, I headed straight for the 9:30 Club to check out a handful of metal bands on the Atticus Metal Tour. This was an early show, running only until 9pm, since rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson had a later that night. So who shows up for a metal show at 5pm? High school kids. Drunk people. And me. I got my dose of metal that left me pumped for the rest of the weekend.

DC’s own Darkest Hour headlined this tour, along with younger metalcore groups Born of Osiris, As Blood Runs Black, and The Human Abstract. Four bands in four hours meant the show moved at a brisk pace – it felt like every band could’ve played a few more tracks, especially the headliners. I enjoyed all of these bands, but with 15 years of experience under their belt, Darkest Hour stole the show.
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The Daily Feed

Hot Ticket: Thursday & Underoath @ 9:30 Club, 2/22/11

Thursday - Full Collapse [2001]

It might be easy to lump the group Thursday, playing tomorrow at the 9:30 Club, in with other aging emo bands such as the Get Up Kids. But Thursday have come a long way since they first cracked the scene in 2001 – their full-length debut “Full Collapse” spawning the hit singles “Cross Out The Eyes” and “Understanding in a Car Crash”. Well, they were hits in my mind, at least. This was always one of my favorite emo bands – they were dramatic and serious, and just a bit heavy. Tomorrow night, they’ll be playing this album in its entirety.

Since then, they’ve consistently revived their style on each album. Lately, frontman Geoff Rickly has been working with a side-project, United Nations, which is sort of a tribute to extremely heavy 90s hardcore bands like Orchid and Pg. 99. Geoff’s instincts have consistently driven Thursday in a heavier direction – even 2003’s “War All the Time” was much darker and angrier than “Full Collapse”. Since splitting ways with Island Records in 2007, Thursday have toured with bands that don’t quite match their emo style – heavy bands like Converge and Envy.

Tuesday night’s pairing with Underoath is a perfect example. Underoath is a metalcore group from Florida, combining the vocal style and attitude of hardcore punk with metal riffs. I personally love this style of metal – it means I can scream along with the lyrics, or just bang my head to the riffs. A Skylit Drive do something similar, with alternating screaming and melodic vocals – but I’m most excited about Animals as Leaders, one of my favorite progressive metal bands. This DC-based group delivers quick bursts of heavy, jazzy, complex riffs without the pretention or epicness of bands like Dream Theater.

I caught Thursday last year at the Black Cat, and it had one of the most energetic crowds I’ve seen in DC. Dozens of kids shove their way to the front of the pit for the chance to shout lyrics in Geoff’s face. Look out for me – I’ll be the guy in the black hoodie in the front row.

Thursday & Underoath
w/ A Skylit Drive, Animals as Leaders
9:30 Club
Tuesday, Feb. 22nd, 2011