Friday, May 17, 2013
The Technicolors- "Listener" Album and Show Review
Can I just state right off that I question the wisdom of building the Doug Fir as a music venue? I've been trying to figure out what exactly it is that bugs me- the space is cool, but acoustically... it's a concrete bunker.
Regardless, I had a good time the other night seeing The Technicolors.
Opening band was a weird trio called Banned Books. At first I was thinking they were going to be winking hipster nonsense, but they were actually pretty endearing. Banned Books trod the weird-yet-exacting path of intense psych rock that Zappa started- and while they certainly had a few self-indulgent messes- it's forgivable. Everyone goes there. So long as you don't turn into Primus, you're fine. Check out Banned Books here.
Following up on that was Fictionist, and I have to say- they almost scuttled the evening. There is a single cardinal sin for being an opening band- don't be boring. You can be bad- people expect it, and will forget it. You can play too long- also par for the course. You can even upstage the headliner. Just... don't be boring. Fictionist is an odd example of the whole being worse than the sum of its parts- each member certainly seemed more than competent at their instruments, but what came from all that was pretty much a terrible combination of Toad The Wet Sprocket and Audioslave. With even more vapid lyrics. I was bored to tears by this band, and by the time they left the stage, I was almost ready to call it a night.
Luckily, The Technicolors did not disappoint. When they were first brought to my attention, they were described as a spin on desert rock, and I was expecting some greasy stoner noise (which I love). I was pleasantly surprised to find The Technicolors much slicker and poppier. The obvious comparison is to Oasis, and they certainly seem to take some of the best parts of the Gallagher boys' famous project and mate it with a QOTSA or Clutch type stoner blues, and just a smidge of mod attitude.
Listener is one of the most well-balanced albums I've heard in a long time, and has a certain British charm that makes it hard for me to believe the lads are from Arizona. Their live sound was certainly beefed up, tight thick grooves that managed to overcome the harsh angles of the Doug Fir, but still showcasing the cool variety of their songs. Listener also closes with... wait for it... a low rock cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game". And you know I love me some Chris Isaak.
Ultimate verdict- Listener is a must buy, and you should definitely catch The Technicolors when they come back around. Hopefully they leave snoozefest Fictionist at home next time.
Image courtesy The Technicolors' instagram.