Monday, November 05, 2007

Battles at the Henry Fonda Theatre

Battles defies description. I feel fortunate to have caught them at the Troubadour earlier this year. It was unfortunate that they played so early on Saturday at Vegoose but those in attendance felt the full fledged attack of Battles. I was unable to catch their show at the Epicentre down in San Diego on Monday but was determined to catch their Henry Fonda show on Tuesday.

No Age

No Age has been building a buzz locally with their noise punk ethics.They recently signed to Sub Pop records and look to be on an upward trajectory. Dean Spunt (Drums/Vocals) had an "FU" adorned on his bass drum and their audio assault reflected the message on their drum head. No Age walks the line between the art damaged noise of Liars and the DIY straight edge punk vibe of Minor Threat. Randy Randall (Guitars) was thrashing his Gibson SG and managing to leap off his amplifier stack a few times. Their latest offering "Weirdo Rippers" is a huge club upside your head that has a Steve Albini rawness to it.

Battles needs to be experienced live. I will attempt to describe their live show but they really need to put together a live multi angle DVD.Their latest release "Mirrored" on Warp records is a main contender for placement in the top 5 of albums released this year.

Dave Konopka(Guitars/Bass) appeared on stage first and twiddled some knobs on his Echoplex as he triggered the opening light saber like noises for "Race:Out". John Stanier(Drums) quickly summoned the gods of thunder with his tribal and ferocious drumming.

"Tij" is jaw dropping live. Ian Williams (Guitars/Keyboards) was infusing the song with panic riddled nervous guitar lines on his Gibson Les Paul. The frenetic pace of the song was matched with an air of claustrophobia with all the instrumentation creating a synergistic auditory effect.

Ian was also running Native Instruments Kompact sampler on his Apple laptop for his keyboard flourishes when he wasn't noodling on his guitar. Tyondai Braxton had a Evolution keyboard in his arsenal as well as a sampler and used a pitch shifting pedal create his intergalactic vocals.

"Atlas" was well received by the crowd and some members of the audience in front the stage started a mini mosh pit. Battles also easily worked through "Leyendecker", "Race:In" and "Bad Trails" to obliterate the crowd. I really hope they put out a live DVD so I can relive their show again and again.

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