Saturday, December 19, 2009

Zaza and In Waves at Spaceland

Zaza and In Waves on the same bill was simply genius. It was unfortunate though that more people were not on hand to witness the tidal waves of reverb and delay at Spaceland.

Zaza captured my attention early this year when they played with IO Echo at the Echoplex. I implored everyone to download their stunning EP Cameo for free, but the window of availability closed quickly when it was picked up for release by Kanine Records.

What immediately shocked me was the songs were barely recognizable from their EP, as Zaza had completely restructured their songs by adding more hypnotic layers to the already dense songs. Even though my play count for the EP exceeds fifty plus listens, I still can't positively identify which songs they played.

Danny Taylor (Vocals/Guitars) had his trusty Yamaha hollowbody recreating the oceanic ripples of delay while Jennifer Fraser (Bass/Keyboards) had her Rickenbacker bass doling out the subsonic frequencies. It was pitch black inside Spaceland which made taking photos a Sisyphean task. Zaza is in the studio working on their full length album which I anxiously await.

In Waves
It has been over a year since I last caught In Waves open for A Place To Bury Strangers at the Troubadour. In Waves have had me as a fan since I first saw them in 2007 at the Viper Room. They have been in a holding pattern this year but look to emerge in 2010 with a debut album tentatively titled Tropical. After hearing their set at Spaceland, it was evident that they were well rehearsed.

While Delano Duran (Drums) was fairly new to the band one year ago, he really shone with confidence throughout the evening adding various cymbal flourishes and extra drumming muscle. In Waves also added a keyboardist to the fold, but it was difficult to hear any keyboards in the mix. In Waves worked through an eight song set with some of the highlights being "Careful Talk", "Sometime After" and "Wallow".

I luckily scored a preview copy of Tropical and can say without reservation that it will blow minds in 2010 when it gets released. Jimmy Vincent's vocals and mercurial guitars are positioned in the middle of the mix rightfully sandwiched between Tim Gregorio's steady bass lines and Delano Duran's driving drum patterns. If I had a label, I would sign them without any hesitation. Who will win the In Waves label sweepstakes? I wish I knew, but when it happens I will post it here.

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