Published Nov 23, 2011For the better part of November, Odonis Odonis have been touring the U.S. East Coast and Southern Ontario, supporting their debut LP Hollandaze. Now, following their recent deal with FatCat, the band and tourmates Moon King capitalized on some of that newfound success by bringing an evening of good music to Peterborough's Spill.
Starting the night out rather surprisingly were Halifax folk punks Snail Party. Regularly performing as a seven-piece, they had to make do with five band members on this occasion. As they earnestly (and without mics) chanted their choruses and hit their harmonies, songs like "Homewrecker" and its easily memorable chorus allowed the crowd to open up. A surprising cover of CocoRosie's "Lemonade" showed off the band's musical chops and touch for melody, with voice cracks, minimal drums, and taped-up banjos and fiddles giving this performance some heart.
Transitioning from folk punk to experimental noise rock was a little jarring, but Odonis Odonis made the best of it by beginning their set with a rapid volley of surf-tinged noise of Hollandaze highlight "Ledged Up." Reverb swirls and unplanned feedback gave their performance an immediate and aggressive feel, which caused much of the audience to be taken aback. The noisy nature of their debut LP Hollendaze was well controlled with drums being mostly sample-based, giving the guitar and bass more room to fill out the sound. The robotic nature of their drums also helped give that feeling that the crowd was witnessing shoegaze's next wave.
It is difficult to explain just how much reverb was present during this performance; literally every microphone and each instrument created vortexes of reverberation. Dean Tzenos started something spectacular when he created Odonis Odonis, and their live performance does nothing but confirm this belief.
Moon King closed off the night with a crowd that had finally decided to head up to the front of the stage. An unorthodox stage set-up may have been the draw, but easily danceable and memorable tracks were what kept the crowd moving. Moon King's performance was largely centred on a laptop-triggering samples, with Daniel "Moon King" adding in additional percussion and vocals while guitarist Maddy Wilde provided backup vocals.
Moon King's music is polarizing; you either enjoy the quirks or dislike them. And while the simple melodies and musicianship of Moon King's music may not scream for attention on record, in a live setting things change, and in the case, for the better. With Snail Party and Odonis Odonis delivering the musical excitement during their stellar sets, Moon king's good-time vibe was entirely complementary.