Theremyn_4 Cabin Five, Toronto, ON, March 21

Theremyn_4 Cabin Five, Toronto, ON, March 21
Photo: Kevin Jones
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While you might expect a band with a name like Theremyn_4 to run somewhat far afield creatively, the Lima-based electro-rockers — regarded by some as one of the most influential electronic bands in Peru — offered up a patently retro sound during their showcase at Toronto's well-hidden Cabin Five. Unfortunately, the band's earlier material — featuring a mixture of tweaked dance-club beats with stabbed synths, whiny '90s guitar distortion, and standard pre-hook builds — fell rather flat on the sparse crowd and did little to dissuade the steady din of patrons clearly not there to see the show.

The band kept in good spirits, however, with singer Lu Falen inviting folks to move a little — a tough task on most nights in this rigid city. But it wasn't until the group shifted to the slinky grooves of their more recent productions, with a sound more reminiscent of INXS, that the new wave-rooted trio began to find their footing with those actually paying attention.

Dank bass tones and reverberating vocals seeped into the mix to much better effect, and the varied rhythmic approach to the group's newer fare reveled hints of an expanded list of professed influences that includes Orbital and New Order. Still, the whole production's Achilles' heel remained in that wailing guitar, an element that seemed to firmly anchor the set in the wrong type of retro feel throughout.