I went into the show knowing very little about the first band Lilac Shadows. I knew that Sam Logan, the once leader of the Huguenots had recently started this new band. The word on the street was that the new sound was a dark melodic rampage of sound, a deflowering of his bright pop past with the Huguenots.
From the first gritty slide down the guitar string I was in love. I was not astounded or blown away. Just simply in love. In love with the melody. In a deep seedy romance with dreamy, dark and intelligent lyrics. This seems like music that was made for driving down long stretches of highway during humid summer nights. The beauty of this sound is that it lulls you in, a pied piper of melody and rhythm, yet the energy of the band keeps you engaged. My last impression of Lilac Shadows, if Allison and John Bender from the Breakfast Club got married and had a child this would be the poetry it carved into the desk during detention. Like I said, in love.
After a short break outside we heard the first dark tones of Nests hitting the stage. The last thing you will find at Tir Na Nog tonight is a bright pop twang.
Jeremy Waltons project is a very deep and heavy burden to bear. The sound is a slow and haunting cadence that carries the listener along. It pokes you in the ribs and commands you to close your eyes and ingest the eerie and intimate songs. For example Jeremy’s haunting voice declares there are “snakes in all his dreams’ while Benny Eales lays down haunting saw tracks for emphasis. Each lyric and hook paints a dark painting that would look at home on the cover of a New Orleans ghost story book.
The double edged sword here was the sound system. Jermey’s low voice coupled with the acoustics left most of his lyrics a mystery. A real shame to lose such amazing lyrics. The upside is you really got to enjoy the layering of instruments that make their music so haunting.
Toward the end of their set as melodys began to repeat, I began to worry this was a one trick pony and then something magical happened. A loud, rancorous upheaval of sound. Lyrics thrown to the side, guitars laying down looping tracks that are played like DJ’s scratching records. The result is something experimental and new. It’s music, but music that assaults your senses. Like when fireworks explode too close to the ground, covering you in brilliant sparks that tingle and burn your senses.
The best part of Nests, they are new, barely over a year old. If the band holds, they could be a powerful force and I think they will only improve as they find their way.