Reviews Coming Soon

Album Review: TBA

Friday, November 30, 2007

Gig Review: Asobi Seksu @ The Portland, Cambridge

Green Mind Promotions’ final show is back where it all began, here at The Portland, and it’s a full house. Sounding like a cheap rail company, Econoline kick proceedings off energetically with their geeky brand of upbeat pop-rock. They revel in the packed crowd and set the tone for the excellent Scanners who delight with their angelic harmonising and thudding rhythms. They play us their debut UK single “Raw” and plug their album which is finally due in January, having already been released stateside many months ago. From the sound of it, we’ll be hearing a lot more of their sweet indie pop in the near future.

Asobi Seksu roughly translates as “playful sex”. Tonight they’re a four-piece from Brooklyn, N.Y., and are all leather and jumpers; tall and tiny. They peddle a strange brand of trance-inducing shoegaze indie. The diminutive Yuki has a fascinating vocal which is indecipherable live but remains beautifully clean and resonant. It’s a fearsome fifth instrument over frenetic guitar and drums, high-fretted Cure-like bass and ebbing keyboards, and features a hefty dose of echoing sustain. Perhaps to emphasise the dreamlike nature of the music, the stage lighting is kept low with the occasional strobe effect. New single, “Stay Awake” is the star of their set and is a sprawling deeply-layered number which gets the crowd nodding along; most finding themselves lost within the sound. Despite this peak, most of their set tonight lacks variation and isn’t quite as inspiring or memorable. It’s a shame because they obviously have much to offer and shouldn’t be simply dismissed.

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