Sunday, May 29, 2011

Medications - Office of Future Plans - Buildings -- Rock'n'Roll Hotel - May 28 2011

Buildings - I invariably enjoy the half-hour set that this instrumental power trio dishes out. Tonight was no exception as they had it cranked and rolling as they ripped through their intricate songs with a controlled ferocity. Their backdrop of films is good as it features a lot of motion which fits their music so well. It is progressive fluidity with a modern bite. Fripp meets Verlaine and Lloyd, speeding forward. The super heavy song near the end was nice. The crowd dug tonight's proceedings. And to close, I will mention something that no one cares about. The guitarist always reminds me of my Dutch friend, Eelco.

Office of Future Plans - I have not seen this band in a while, although I saw J. Robbins join up with his old buddies Government Issue late last year. They still line up with Robbins on guitar and vocals along with a rhythm section and a cellist who plays guitar on the last 3-4 songs. The songs are in that post-hardcore vein ala Fugazi (Ian MacKaye sighting tonight) and others. I loved the opener which had an epic prog quality with heavy dynamics and sound shifting, but was far more dark and modern sounding. I even felt an Adam Franklin vibe in a few songs with just a wee bit of psyche. They covered a song by a Japanese band, Naht, that was good. A couple of songs toward the end had my mind wandering a bit, but they closed strong. The place was nicely crowded, but well short of a sell-out. But every one was enjoying the set and focusing on the music more than most young Saturday night crowds. So kudos to the band and the listeners. Overall, this band mixes its songs nicely with some that trend toward catchy and others that are filled with dark intrigue.

2009 Tour. Photo by Renata Burger in My Photos
Medications - This trio could so easily slip into terrain that would have me bored. They play quirky patterns that I have heard other bands mangle or play so lightly and cute, that I couldn't help but get frustrated. But these guys have just enough power and creativity to push things higher and stronger than most of the other quirky pop-rock bands I see. It helps that they really have command of their material and are locked in together. Both axemen sing and that part of the music is also is a positive. They are not immediate or obvious, but most rock fans should be able to find something in the music to grab on to. The crowd had thinned just a bit even though it was not overly late, but those that stayed enjoyed this band and yet another fine showcase of the local talent we have in this area.

Quote of the night: Robbins after the applause died down and he made a comment I (and probably others) did not catch... "...your silence is deafening. Seriously, we appreciate you guys being here because you can spend your entertainment dollar any number of ways."

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