There’s a lot of great new music waiting to be heard in Brooklyn and the local Trash Bar swelled on Friday, April 15th with listeners ready to embrace it. Five bands came together to offer something new to the table and turn the Trash into something treasured.
The night began with sultry voice and sonorous swing as Sylvana Joyce & The Moment came to play. Sylvana Joyce – a born musician who embraced her grandfather’s legacy as a composer – performed with the same intonations and presence of a diva against the tension of Miles and Peter’s drums and bass and the dance of Christopher and Sean-David’s guitar and violin. Mingling a show tune sensibility with a modern baroque pop sound, the very nature of the band felt almost appropriately at home against the piecemeal décor of the Trash Bar as it would have been in the gaslight era of a traveling steampunk carnival.
Chris Peck and his group (appropriately named) Peck took a more somber tone to the stage. Inspired from the shock of his father’s death, drummer-gone-singer Chris Peck’s melodies are existential blues born out of deflated feelings understated and finally brought to light like wild plants growing out of a cracked sidewalk. To quote Chris, "The music stands as an immediate and engaging (yet fun) conduit for the message… and what is that message, you ask? Why are we kidding ourselves?"
Audience members who attended Peck’s second all-time performance were also treated to free copies of their new album Tales From the X Class for download in celebration of their album release, along with the joking assurance that, "Your convenience means very little to us."
Following Peck came System Noise. This was actually their first performance of 2011, their last being a December performance that was shared with MiniBoone (QRO album review) and fellow bands of the night Bangladeafy and The Gypsy West at Bowery Electric. Their hiatus was not in vain as they broke out of musical hibernation with some of their strongest fare and some new material.
Each group being unique in their own sound, System Noise’s funk-soaked pace were garnished with the pull of guitarist Kurt Leege’s string work and the sonorous-to-striking vocal range of frontwoman Sarah Mucho as they pulled you into harmonies like sirens before they shocked your senses back with strikes of rage-filled punk. All this and the one word Zen of their bassist Bob made for a rousing set that made their first gig in 2011 a wonderful one.
Drabbed in war paint and bare feet on unpadded floors, The Gypsy West chanted songs that mixed acid rock and a blues beat to their chant-like songs. The band’s performances seem partly laden with risk as well, as frontman Alex Giorgetti has mentioned at least one incident when he cut his foot against the bare stage: not a difficult thing to accomplish when you’re kicking and jumping barefoot on a stage peppered with the musical hardware needed for their work. Pieces played included work from their last album Accomplices along with some not to be found elsewhere, among them the anthemistic "Condition". At one point in the performance, one member of the audience was even given the chance to be a voluntary fourth member by manning a tambourine.
The headliner of the night came in the form of two men clad in plumed bandannas named BANGLADEAFY! Perhaps the most difficult to describe of the lineup, the best collection of words one could possibly throw together to coherently describe them may have been better accomplished by throwing a fistful of magnetic poetry on a fridge – several hours writing this article were wasted trying – the most appropriate thing that came to mind was a near-instrumental math metal duo manned by bassist Jonny Germ, and his drummer buddy Atif Haq. Between drum beats that pumped like a hummingbird heart and bass work that somehow manages to require no compromise between speed and precision, what lyrical content to be found is not unlike the overall sound of the band: loud and plenty. Between sets, Jonny was something of a card. Often laden with high spirits and the vivacity of a two year old guzzling an energy drink (which might be expected considering his play style), it was hard for the audience not to liven up after a few songs from this eccentric group.
Although you may not see this lineup gather again like this for awhile, you can catch each of these bands around the New York/Brooklyn area. BANGLADEAFY! has a lineup of shows coming around the Long Island and Brooklyn area, The Gypsy West will be at Arlene’s Grocery (QRO venue review) on May 13th, Peck will be in Bowery Electric on May 26th, and Sylvana Joyce & The Moment will be playing at Crash Mansion (QRO venue review) next week on the 27th.