Published Apr 29, 2010Sightings have been at it for over ten years now, with seven full-lengths to their name on infamous noise labels like Load, Fusetron and Riot Season. Their latest effort, City of Straw, is probably their highest-profile release yet, recently issued on the Jagjaguwar sub label, Brah, run by the fellas in Oneida. This brought the band all the way from New York for their first visit to Vancouver, a city with one of the healthiest noise scenes in North America. Needless to say, the city welcomed them with open arms and a packed Anza Club, all in hopes of catching a rare glimpse of the East coast juggernauts.
Though Vancity openers MYTHS and Shearing Pinx put on great, loud sets, they were pretty much dwarfed by the muscular and intensely abrasive Sightings. The trio, which consists of a bassist, drummer and guitarist/singer, approach rock from an almost perverse angle, recalling deconstructionists U.S. Maple, industrial pranksters Throbbing Gristle and, at times, even Captain Beefheart. The guitarist wielded his feedback-riddled guitar like a man bent on damaging your ears, releasing a constant sheet of noise that sounded like glass in a blender. At times he seemed absolutely possessed, gripping his guitar tightly, swinging it violently and hurling his body around the stage, all while incoherently bleating and growling into the microphone. Meanwhile, the jittery rhythm section laid down quick, jerky abstract beats that wouldn't sound out of place on an Autechre record.
For those who had listened to City of Straw before the show, the flawless recreation of the album live on stage was clearly a feat that only accomplished musicians could pull off, laying to rest the idea that such aural chaos could only be improvised.