Young Prisms, photo: Chiro
Things were a bit sparse at Urban on Monday night, which is to be expected being that it was the beginning of the week. However, I thought the music would bring people out. I personally love to catch every ambient rock show I can, something about the tones and echoes really pulls me in.
The first band of the night was Cephalotron, with a name like that, I expected some tronik electro action. However, listening to these guys perform was more like watching Juno––I believe the word often used is “endearing.” The three-piece featured local guitar legend Chaz Prymek, but this time he was on drums. The set seemed sleepy, but had brief moments of life with divergences into sounds that were more tropical. They found their stride mid-set with a tongue-in-cheek ode about bagging chicks. These lyrics, coming from a guy that looked like Michael Cera, had the crowd literally laughing out loud. It seems that Cephalotron is a fun little side project of some talented local musicians and if that is actually the case, I would love to hear some more humor injected into their set. While very out of place for the lineup for this night, they were a breath of fresh air.
I love seeing gear quickly materialize onto a stage. When a band loads on fast, it usually means they are there to rock and they want as much time as possible to do so. Such was the case with Plastic Furs. The dark paisley coverings on their amps were an indicator of the vast colors that were soon to explode from them. The Furs are known to be shoegaze purist, and being quite a fan of the genre, I have followed them since I discovered them earlier this year. Drawing heavily from bands such as Echo And The Bunny Men, Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine, the Furs constantly drench their audience in soaring waves of sound. Standing with my notebook in my hand preparing to jot notes as the Furs set up is something akin to loading a gun; the tension and excitement were building to a point of explosion. This band captures the sound of the desert just as the sun is going down. It’s a radiant wave that, to me, would be the perfect soundtrack for watching the red desert rocks of Southern Utah, or rambling along alone in the desert.
I feel like the Urban Lounge let the two shoegaze bands down. As they rushed through sound checks, both bands suffered vocally––I actually couldn’t hear the lyrics of the headliners during their set. Young Prisms are gaining a following in the ambient rock community, having toured with Radio Department, they have expanded their fanbase. Overall, I felt that the Young Prisms didn’t invest as much into their song writing as I would have liked to see. While they do have the tones and structures of the genre down pat, they lack melody.They focus on their percussion more than most shoegaze acts, which gives their sets some danceability. I will be very happy to see where this band goes as they continue to tour and mature, and I’m sure seeing them with a proper sound check would be awesome.