Live Review: The Lepers, Knife Skills, N0 Things…

Category: Blog — @ 12:17 pm April 5, 2006

The draw was light last night at O’Leaver’s. I blame the Simon Joyner show at The Pizza Shoppe, which I completely forgot about. And the fact that the O’Leaver’s show got next to no hype (other than on this site, of course, which is next to no hype). I got there at about the eight-minute mark of The Leper’s 12-minute opening song. These guys’ songs are looong, and are meant to be, I suppose. They’ve changed up their sound somewhat since the last time I saw them (probably over a year ago). A couple of the songs were downright fast compared to their usual tribal, tonal head trips. I’m told by drummer Ken Brock that the new pace will be heard on their new CD, which they’ve finished recording and have out for mixing. The band had just returned from two weeks on the road including a pass through SXSW. These guys are almost acidic in how they can divide a crowd between people who “get” where they are and where they’re going and what they’re trying to do along the way, and those who just plain hate their music. I’m part of the first group, though in all honesty, I have to assume this style of psychedelic drone tunage is best accompanied by hallucinogenics or grass (both of which I’ve never had the pleasure to have known). Guitarist/vocalist Owen Cleasby even asked if anyone had any pot in the audience (He was just kidding… I think).

Knife Skills was a different animal altogether. A Brooklyn trio that features two girls and a guy had one immediate noticeable difference from The Lepers — they had a bass. And man, was it loud. They call their sound punk/rock/black metal on their myspace page. I would categorize them more as heavily rhythmic noise rock, dense and unforgiving. Their music doth not swing, nor doth it intend to. Instead you’re bludgeoned repeatedly by that friggin’ bass and those women’s shrill, mocking voices. They apparently just finished a new album recorded by Steve Revitte (Liars, Black Dice, The Double) to be released on 5 Rue Christine and headed to a music-store bin near year this summer.

Finally, up came N0 Things. I’m not going to get too detailed here as I intend to run down Ron Albertson via cell sometime this week for an interview for next week’s column. Needless to say, for those wondering, Ron looks fine, though a bit tired (doesn’t he always look tired?). The music blew me away. Like the best of The Liars’ stuff, it’s all about the rhythms and the rhythm section of Ron and bassist Pat Noecker, who converge in some sort of unholy, decadent Vulcan mindmeld of sound. The bass and drums power everything, while guitarist/vocalist Christian Dautresme keeps his head above the waves with a tingling guitar and his stark, nasal vocals (he may not be a walking monster like Angus Andrew, but he’s certainly a better singer). The crowd (of maybe 40) dug it, as did I, even calling them back for a one-song encore. Yeah, I like these guys more than The Liars first incarnation (and certainly more than the current version).

Tomorrow, the weekly column featuring 26 CD reviews — 26! I’m going to get caught up with that Reviews Matrix if it’s the last thing I do…

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