Saturday May 5th 8PM $10
Parlor Walls EP EXO is a punch to the face. Imagine steam engines colliding on Mars where the air is thin but somehow inhabitable. Shedding their once post-punk-meets-free-jazz exoskeleton for a more refined art rock, EXO spins a claustrophobic mayhem into a sinewy four song salvo.
Alyse Lamb's guitars churn a thick anthem. Think Wire's playful guitar ache coupled with Siouxsie Sioux's understated angst. Drums and synths propel. Both delivered in tandem by Chris Mulligan, one limb cranks industrial riffs on a synth while the other catapults dancing beats. And it is that seamless balance between synths and drums that inevitably informs his sound, both equally unorthodox and always imperative. All this is underscored by new addition Jason Shelton's hazy clarinet and Eno-esque ambience. Tortured loops and sneaking vibrato oscillate the space into a smoky noir. With Lamb on lead vocals, her delivery is thick with defiance. But if you listen closely, encased in this tight warble a crack in the shell appears. Like the arthropod between skeletons, this crack exposes a vulnerability, often so heavily guarded. Take the bludgeoning "Low Vulture" when she dares you to "get out in front of it," you don't know whether to run away or to share a tender moment together.
tk Echo is a new D.C. band featuring Josh Blair (Orthrelm/Supersystem), Fiona Griffin (Et At It, Meltdown), Aaron Leitko (Protect-U) and Chris Richards (Q and Not U).
Pearie Sol’s songs “scramble the boundaries between the confessional and the confrontational, inviting us to revisit the lines we’ve drawn between empathy and embarrassment. Stick it out for an entire set and your fidgeting might start to feel like a different kind of dancing.” (via Washington Post)