Published Nov 02, 2011It was a slow night at the Media Club on October 31, but that was somewhat expected after a full weekend of pre-Halloween parties. Sacramento's Ganglians were marking their first appearance in Vancouver but not to the sizable crowd one might have expected after the wave of hype that followed their first two releases.
The foursome didn't let the dismal turnout distract them, unleashing much more excitable and explosive versions of songs from their newest long-player, Still Living, as well as some earlier, more recognizable material. Songs were injected with an overdose of reverb, which put a much needed jolt into their normally laid-back Beach Boys-in-the-garage vibe, playing them as if the room were completely full. After all that effort, one can only hope they managed to find a floor to crash on after asking the crowd for if they had one available.
With a backdrop of swirling psychedelic imagery, a dimly lit stage and the band dressed for the occasion, Still Corners set an eerie atmosphere that perfectly matched their hybrid of gothic-tinged lullabies and shoegaze ambiance. Culling songs from their recent Sub Pop debut, Creatures of an Hour, the four-piece managed to translate the heavily produced and thickly layered sounds of the album into an organic live performance.
Lead songwriter Greg Hughes carefully rebuilt the finer moments of Creatures with an array of pedals and his squealing guitar tones, all backed by deep basslines and drums used more for flourishes than rhythm. However, the focus of the crowd's attention (and cameras) that night was clearly dedicated to Tessa Murray. Still Corner's chanteuse, dressed all in black and donning an oversized witch hat, delivered her breathy, featherlight vocals in a dream-like state, pulling the sparse yet fully attentive crowd along with her. Overall, an odd-fitting bill, but for those in attendance, it was much more treat than trick.