Tuesday, 12 February 2008

So So Modern Live Review

Here is a live review I did on the band So So Modern for the NME:

So So Modern
The Buffalo Bar, London

Nothing changes at the Buffalo Bar other than the band on the stage. Tonight it’s So So Modern as they make a final UK appearance before returning to their native New Zealand after weeks of talked up shows. While the support acts, Maths Class and The Ghost Frequency, share with their headliners an obsession with yelped vocals and intricate guitar and synth patterns layered over restless punk-funk rhythms they both fail at any point to transcend their obvious influences. It’s all basically a bit Rapture with added ADD guitar lines. No such problem for So So Modern. From the moment they stroll on stage in pseudo-shamanic cowls their tour-honed live show brings to mind not 2003 but a gloriously re-imagined 1993. ‘Synthgasm’ and ‘Firefights’ immediately translate the frenetic on-stage energy to the previously static crowd and it’s as if Q & Not U are playing from Don Caballero’s crib sheet. While the keyboard dominated ‘Love Code’ may lose a sense of momentum the band are never without focus or a maniacal sense of spontaneity. At one point they even cobble together a Melvins style drum circle. Awful name aside, in a sweaty North London basement it becomes apparent that Transgressive may just have signed the interesting, challenging and engaging act that Foals have wholly failed to become.

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