Sunday, December 03, 2006

Chin Up Chin Up [live]


I like this band, but I could never get too into them. I think it was the lack of choruses. Seeing them live put a whole new perspective on it. Chin Up Chin Up is an instrumental band- one that happens to sing. They don't have a great (or even mediocre to be honest) vocalist, so they don't force something that wouldn't work well: where a normal band would put a chorus, these guys step away from the mic and let the audience hear the great melodies they put together and the way all the band members interact with each other. In that manner they're kind of like Built to Spill. This was the last show of their tour to support their new album This Harness Can't Ride Anything (MmGravy) and they were playing to a small crowd in a shitty venue. But they played like they loved their songs and they had everyone dancing.

I guess art pop is their most common description, but I don't like it. They're a rock band that plays guitar almost exclusively on the high frets, has a very active bass (but one that is mixed low, which I like), a keyboardist who fills in the spaces, and a drummer who does a great job sequencing with the guitars, kicks off all the songs really well, and unobtrusively drives the band. All this makes the sound energetic and easy on the ears, but it was clear watching them that this was rock sounding poppy rather than pop made to sound like rock. They hit three choruses all night long; all were guttural, authentic, and satisfying pieces of their songs. My friend calls it sissy indie which I think may be a contradiction in terms

The setlist was tight, there wasn't a ton of banter, and there was no encore.

I met their bass player (he owns the record label my friend works for) and my friends and I took him up to the station for an interview/plug. He stole one of the posters for the show on his way down the staircase. He reminded me of Mr. Daley.

If you have the chance to see them, please do so. This was a very good example of how seeing a band live can increase your love of them and their music, which is tough when you're just playing them out of your computer speakers. Take the opportunity and you'll be dancing and humming afterwards.

Rating: MMGravy

post script
Its a good thing I wasn't reviewing concerts before, I would have always been gushing seeing as how I didn't have a bank with which to compare shows. That said something tells me shows will almost always have higher rating than their respective albums.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Concerts are always better than the album. If they're not, it's a shitty band. Or they're just wasted. I were you, I'd put the concerts on a whole separate scale.