Friday, May 8, 2015

THUNDERBIRDS ARE NOW!, RAHIM, THE OCTOPUS PROJECT | 03.21.06 | CREEPY CRAWL, ST. LOUIS

To be blunt, the Creepy Crawl was fucking cold. Attendees were wearing winter coats and stocking caps just to keep warm. In a way, this was appropriate. After endless summer evenings standing amid the heat and the humidity in this same room, experiencing the exact opposite seemed rather fitting. The circle was complete. The innards of the Creepy Crawl had now experienced both ends of the thermometer.

Playing first, TU laid out catchy and endearing pop that had those gathered near the stage clapping in unison. Reminiscent of the Dismemberment Plan and Mates of State, TU were thoroughly enjoyable. On the completely opposite side of the road, Micahveil was a noisy bunch that combined elements of post-punk, space rock, and a smidge of emo. Playing their set with tons of frantic energy—along with a boatload of feedback, blips, beeps, and intense keyboards—they were mighty impressive.

Fronted by keyboardist Yvonne Lambert, the Octopus Project played a wildly entertaining set of new wave-y instrumentals. While Lambert held court up front with an array of sound manipulators—mainly a theremin that allowed Lambert to raise and lower the pitch of a squeal—bassist Josh Lambert and guitarist Brandon Durham bounded back and forth, frequently swapping instruments. On a night where quality was a surplus, the Octopus Project was a very remarkable outfit.

In support of their debut LP Ideal Lives—gladly sold at the merch table two weeks ahead of its street date—Rahim were the enigma of the evening. While the rest of the bands on the bill were fairly straightforward and conventional, Rahim’s brand of rock was out of the mold. Resembling French Toast and a little bit of El Guapo, Rahim’s set was inspired, well played, and lively to be sure.

Thunderbirds Are Now! is very comparable to Les Savy Fav; just ask them and they’ll totally admit it. They may lack a front person who strips on stage piecemeal, but they certainly shared LSF’s lively stage presence, marching their way through “Eat This City,” “This World Is Made of Paper,” “Harpoons of Love,” “From: Skulls,” and others, including a new tune on which Rahim joined them on stage. In a moment of rock hilarity, guitarist/vocalist Ryan Allen took time to jokingly insult Micahveils’ band name only to immediately turn the insult around, calling Thunderbirds Are Now! “the worst band name ever.” Ah, there is nothing like self-effacing humor to further endear yourself to a crowd. However, by that time, they didn’t need it. TAN! was a blast.

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