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- Sunset Rubdown »
Ever wondered why people watch operas through binoculars? It’s because operas are awful and they want to be as far away from the sorry spectacle as possible. Well, rock operas are, anyway.
Sunset Rubdown shift the goalposts by making rock madrigals, and consequently tonight’s show is a crush of sweaty limbs and rapt visages bent towards the bright sun of Spencer Krug’s songwriting talent, no magnifying lenses required.
Of the glut of meandering blog bands we’ve encountered over the past few years, Sunset Rubdown have been one of the more consistently interesting, twisting the focused alt-pop sound of Krug’s other pastime, the imminently returning Wolf Parade, into something so dark and labyrinthine you’ll need a cotton ball the size of a death star to find your way out of it.
Krug’s out of sight, bent over his keyboard for much of the show, tossing up words like incantations into a surging maelstrom where courtly complexity meets rock bluster. It’s a sound that’s as much mess as it is magic; scattered tarot cards and florid guitar blooming in earshot like migraine blobs.
One new song sounds like Hunky Dory-era Bowie having conversations with himself, all crashing piano chords and duetted vocals with Camilla Wynne Ingr, while ‘Stadiums And Shrines II’’s heart-busting waltz impresses and a full-tilt ‘The Mending Of The Gown’ is every bit the lurching joy it is on record.
Heady stuff, all told, and although some songs don’t quite cohere as you feel they should, it’s more than worth it for a set that finds pathos and ribaldry in the unlikeliest of places.
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