NXNE: Friday Night with Dark Mean, Comanechi, and more.

Since it’s Saturday and I’ve spend a good chunk of it working on videos to upload later (but also being a lazy chud), this one will probably be a lot shorter than my last post. I’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to seeing bands I don’t hate too, and Friday was no different. Here is a quick breakdown of what I saw:

Dark Mean @ Sneaky Dee’s

Dark Mean played a kind of indie-rock I don’t usually love, but in this case I was surprised. They almost have that orchestra-indie set up, but it leans more to the indie side in this case. With a trumpet player and keyboardist  who plays though a piano setting, their music slowly unfurls but isn’t afraid to kick into gear either. It was a nice balance, the singer kind of sounded like Conor Oberst, but a bit less over emotive so I didn’t mind (your milage may vary).

Polymorphines @ Rancho Relaxo

Polymorphines played a super energetic set of punk rock by way of 60’s garage. Fast and catchy, I really liked them. I’m not too sure what else to say, they rocked really hard.

The Setting Son @ Rancho Relaxo

I wasn’t sure what to expect when The Setting Son took the stage, they all had a very retro look about them, but at the same time they all seemed like the odd one out. Their music was very much a retro throwback to the guitar jangle pop of days gone by. Lots of organ, reverb, and soaring choruses. Perfect for the summer.

Comanechi @ Comfort Zone

I grabbed the Comanechi album on a pure whim earlier this year and loved it, so when I saw they were coming to NXNE I knew I had to see them. They’re a duo who play a mix of many heavy genres; punk, garage, sludge, noise, and more. Drummer/vocalist Akiko is a ball of energy and really funny to boot. One of the more entertaining shows this year, even if the sound was garbage (ditto for the venue). See them at the Dollar tonight or regret it later.

Rah Rah @ Bread & Circus

Rah Rah– like Dark Mean– play that kind of indie I mentioned earlier that I got really sick of real quick. It’s another genre that everywhere you turn you see bands with member after member, gang-chant choruses and dramatic song-shifts. When done well I like it though, and Rah Rah do it pretty well. I won’t say they’re my favorite band, but for fans of this style you could do a lot worse. I went outside to meet Terri, because we were supposed to see Gramercy Riffs at B&C too, but when I went out they told me the place was at capacity and we couldn’t get back in. So that’s probably a good indication about the band.

Schomberg Fair @ Rancho Relaxo

Finally after far too long, the Fair were back on the Rancho stage! They ripped it up through and through. So much energy, maybe even more than usual. Nate is such a force on bass, especially when he’s stomping on his distortion pedal and letting loose. Obviously Matt Bahen was in top form as well, when he kicks into a solo it’s a sight to see. The whole band was on point and the crowd ate it up. A serious highlight of the festival.

The Cheap Speakers @ Rancho Relaxo

After last year’s 3AM NXNE set, our friends in The Cheap Speakers were back again in the “Party Slot”. Like the Fair, they gave it their all and kept the energy level high. So high even, that both Tim and Natalia broke strings during the set, and it went on without  a hitch anyway. A lot of bands buckle under the pressure of even one broken string, so the fact that they played through and kept the energy high is amazing. As usual their brand of poppy indie rock impressed all the people who stuck around late enough.

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