Mutual Benefit - This band is pretty much the songs, vocals, guitar, and keys of Jordan Lee supplemented by three helpful musicians offering drums, keys, guitar, and some quality backing vocals. Their approach is wrapped in subtlety throughout their set with a rather fragile warmth ever present, even as there is a cool pop music style at work. They get quite dreamy at times and it is a little surprising that this style results in some shorter songs. But there are some fine long running contrasting cuts that stretches the band out a bit. This variety helps, although I wouldn't mind some more sonic variety as well (oddly enough the drummer provides some by going from kit to bongos). But they have their approach and it works well over the course of the full set. This is an 'album band' even if you like their songs. The approach worked better on me when taken as a whole. They are a band to keep an eye on as they could easily grow into something big.
Wild Beasts - One of the more ironically named bands I have seen in a while, as there is nothing at all bestial about this UK quartet, nor is their music anywhere near wild by nature and design. There is hefty vibrant pop music here with a touch of distant soul as the vocal work is the powerful presence in most of these songs. The drummer remains the same, but the other three switch off between guitars, keyboards, and a bass, but the bass is not used much in many of the cuts. The keyboards provide the foundation and the guitars work off of the drums to keep a brisk walking pace going. The older cut they identified was a bit punchier and there is some variety between the songs, although the lush agreeable pop music style they have concocted is quite steady and mannered. This is not a style of pop music that I gravitate toward, but with vocals this good, I am happy to see bands like this click with larger audiences (and any group into foosball is ok with me). These guys do it right and the crowd was well rewarded tonight.
Quote of the Night, or rather another Musician on Musician insult as the series continues (check past + future posts for the full set):
17. Noel Gallagher on Kaiser Chiefs
“They play dress-up and sit on top of an apex of meaninglessness. They don’t mean anything to anybody apart from their fucking ugly girlfriends.”