Austra - This band proves why I am open to enjoying electronica bands. This Toronto collective lines up three female vocalists in front of electronics, bass, and drums. The ratio of vocalists is what makes this work so well for me. The interplay is excellent. One vocalist handles most of the leads, but the back-up singers punch in nicely and add a touch of percussion. One song had three distinct vocal parts where there was mostly a weaving of any two of them occurring at any give time before the final merging of all three. Quite creative songwriting at work here. The electronics were solid with the bass and drums laying down a nice steady rocking beat. I did miss a guitar, as the style of the late John McGeoch (Banshees, Magazine) would be very welcome in this band. I also missed the opening number as my cat needed some extra lap time and the line to get in was surprisingly long tonight. But everything I heard was easy to get into. The nearly packed house agreed with me and this is a band destined for bigger things.
Cold Cave - This band proves why I generally do not enjoy electronica bands. They had a drummer, one guy on electonics and a third on vocals and some electronics. They started out rather noisily, but quickly settled into a more dancey song structure. The beats were not overwhelming and to my liking they strived more for presenting full songs. A couple songs had some nice punch to them, but mostly the vocals kind of let me down and the instrumentation didn't bring it up enough. The people up front were dancing, but I am guessing most of the back half of the crowd may have agreed with me in preferring the opening band. If the singer brought more than the cliched strains of Ric Ocasek/Peter Murphy, it may have worked better for me. Not bad, but at best I am back on the fence regarding electronica.
Quote of the Night: From the singer of Cold Cave... "This song is about how much I hate David Byrne." Really? I was doing everything I could to NOT compare your voice to David Byrne's. Did he steal your ideas?