Thursday, December 10, 2015

Recording: Lockbox

Artist: Lockbox

Song: Just The Same as Always

Recorded at Smiling Buddha (Silent Shout Festival – Night 1), December 4, 2014.

Lockbox - Just The Same as Always

Although they'd stepped away from presenting live music, Silent Shout returned for a two-night celebration to mark their fifth anniversary. Taking over the Smiling Buddha for two nights gave the site's designer Roxanne Ignatius a chance to re-imagine the space, with a deconstructed disco ball twirling above clouds and webby fabric tendrils. Plus, downstairs there was a gallery of her consistently-excellent show posters, going right back to the series' beginning when it had to spell out its mandate of "EVIL DISCO / GLOOMY ELECTRO / DEATHLY SYNTHPOP". And though there was a retrospective element to the whole affair, the music was decisively forward-looking, including a couple bands making their debuts.

This Laura Barrett-fronted group technically played its first show back in February, playing a mini-set of Owen Pallett songs at Wavelength's anniversary show. One of those was carried over, but this was otherwise the first airing out of some new material — and a new, synth-oriented direction from Barrett. Joined by Sarah Buchanan on drums and Jeff DeButte on bass, the trio was bopping in 5/8 time and reminding the audience to put their socks on just so they could get rocked off. There's still some refinements to be worked out on getting the balance between laptop tracks and the live band parts (as exhibited on the the confrontationally jaunty "What Kind of Person Do You Think You Are?") but there's an exciting new sonic template at hand for Barrett to apply her songwriting skills to. This one, with its piano-based sound, hews a bit closer to the "old" Laura Barrett sound — I suspect the next thing I post from this group will be more electronic and squiggly.

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