Published May 09, 2011Vancouver's own Cosmetics got the night rolling and were the odd band out on the Captured Tracks triple bill. Where Craft Spells and Beach Fossils aim towards the gloomier end of '80s pop, Cosmetics are among the synth-based cold wave bands that the label has slowly been building up. The Vancity duo, made up of Aja Emma on vocals and Nic M on keyboards and bass, played tracks mostly culled from their upcoming and overdue Captured Tracks LP. Nic pulled out some deep, fuzz-riddled synth/bass lines, while Aja murmured sweet nothings to the half-filled Media Club, riveting the attention of the few that showed up early. The duo have come a long way since their awkward beginnings, and the new songs played were certainly more dense, inspired and, at times, caustic than previously. Even their new takes on older songs proved to be much more captivating live.
Seattle's Craft Spells caught a few off guard with a high-energy set of New Order-inspired pop, which was pretty far removed from the moody atmosphere conjured up on their full-length LP. The venue finally began to fill up as they hit the stage, but no matter how much they tried to inject some life into the crowd, they couldn't elicit much more than an appreciative head nod.
By the time it was time for Brooklyn's Beach Fossils, it was clear that the mostly subdued and fresh-faced crowd was there to see one band. The four-piece began with a song taken from their recent twelve-inch EP, a track they admitted was played about three times faster than the recorded version, which was pretty much how the rest of their set went. Simultaneously pogoing along to the hyped versions of tracks off their breezy debut, the band's energy was infectious, resulting in the front of the stage turning into a bit of dance-off. One drunken fan couldn't even help but get on the stage with the band and try out some karaoke on an unplugged mic.
But it was all well deserved: Beach Fossils are one of few blog-hyped bedroom acts that have actually present a more than competent live show that takes their recordings to another level.