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The Fresh & Onlys
Courtesy Melissa Gibbons
On Saturday February 25th, The Casbah
played host to bands that place their guitar work at the forefront of their live show. Local openers Tropical Popsicle
lean more on synth elements and have a darker, Joy Division-influenced sound, but their strongest songs are the ones in which lead singer Tim Hines leans more heavily on his guitar than his keyboard.
Chicago band Disappears
are what I’d call cerebral garage rock with hints of Krautrock rhythms. They played a taut and restrained set in which all of their on-stage energy was channeled through their instruments, rather than their bodies. Precision and intensity are good words to describe their live show. Disappears
are no strangers to The Casbah
, as they played here in August of last year as the west coast tour support for Obits. At that time they were touring for their 2011 album, Guider
, while this time around they are supporting their 2012 album, Pre Language
, coming out on Kranky Records. Despite not being the headliner, the crowd seemed receptive to their sound.
The Fresh & Onlys
, from San Francisco, took the stage and played a set of lighter, surf-influenced garage rock, but with almost as much precision as Disappears. The clarity is unusual for garage bands, as they tend to thrive off the looseness allowed by so much reverb. There was no looseness in their set; all the intricate guitar work of Wymond Miles was clear enough to be fully appreciated. Unlike Disappears, the energy emanating from the stage was equally split between the speakers and the members themselves; as they played, they moved freely across the stage and gave off a more playful vibe. The Fresh & Onlys are a refreshing band to see live – they take their musicianship seriously but play with the energy of garage rock.