Friday, March 27, 2009

An Horse at the Echoplex

A slew of bands made the trek back to Los Angeles after their appearances at SXSW. I was a little groggy from PJ Harvey and John Parish the night before but was intrigued by the triple bill of The Amateurs, Wintersleep and An Horse at the Echoplex.

The Amateurs

The small collection of Fender guitars quickly reminded me that I reviewed The Amateurs back in September of 2007. The Amateurs have undergone a number of member changes since I last caught them and have altered their sound to a dusky alt-country vibe.

JR Sage (Pedal Steel) was laying down the woozy pedal steel guitar on top of Keith Waggoner's (Vocals/Guitars) storytelling vocals. Their sound was augmented by the addition of some spirited trumpet playing by Tony Nichols. After visiting their myspace page, I remembered they played "Chain Reaction" and "Six Days". The Amateurs will be stopping by Que Sera in Long Beach on April 5th.


O Canada. How do you continue to produce good bands? Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Wintersleep unveiled their incongruent angular guitars and penchant for tightly woven melodies for a foot tapping set. It is difficult not to think of Archers of Loaf and Burning Airlines when you listen to the crookedness of the guitars during "Archaeologists".

The shift to "Weighty Ghost" was a little uneven but they picked up steam with "Oblivion" with its chromatic spiral staircase ascending guitar riff. Wintersleep is finishing off their tour in Canada and will be heading out to the U.K. with buzz band White Lies.

An Horse

It seems like there is no shortage in my coverage of Australian bands here on Amateur Chemist. Joining the ranks of Cut Copy and The Presets, An Horse is an Australian duo that has been causing a stir here in the States.

Inverting the blueprint of the White Stripes, Kate Cooper (Vocals/Guitars) dutifully played a Fender Mustang and handled the vocals while Damon Cox (Drums) was on the drums. It was easy to see why Tegan & Sara enjoyed their semi-punk buzzy tunes. "Horizons" was a flurry of jangly power chords.

Damon helped out on the background vocals for "Little Lungs" that slowly built up momentum before unraveling into a sermon of "breathe little lungs". "Camp Out" and "Post Cards" garnered the largest response from the audience with their intoxicating melodies. An Horse will be saddling up for another tour of the states in April with the Appleseed Cast.

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