WYE OAK @ THE GASOMETER HOTEL

Wye Oak1 by Dan Stack_jpg_640x503_q85

Turning up to the Gasometer to watch Wye Oak felt strange but refreshing to me.

Last time I was here I watched a neo-Goth band and it pulled me into a huge hole of despair. All the while, wallowing in my first world problems (i.e. I shouldn’t have bought these new Nikes), a girl with a shaved head licked the boot of the guy she was dancing (well, thrusting her bits into) with as though it were some part of a mating call.

 

This time, the roof was open and I could see the stars. The crowd were much more placid and I felt at home in the sea of flannies buttoned to the top, thick black rimmed glasses, R.M Williams and awkward side-glances all up in here. I immediately felt relived that my libido would not be destroyed tonight.

 

Melbourne shoegaze band Lowtide played first and showcased a number of songs off their latest self-titled album. The first time I saw Lowtide was in this very venue about two years ago and I can happily say that they have improved their musicianship, stage presence and refined their unique sound. Switching between male and female ethereal vocals and effortlessly strumming string melodies reminiscent of a teenager in James Franco’s version of California, Lowtide kept the slowly filling crowd mesmerized.

 

Up next was a nice surprise from the New Zealand solo artist, Bachelorette.

Armed with an impressive Abelton setup, Bachelorette’s stage presence saw her approach each tune in the same awkward manner as the nature of her songs. Requesting shots of Jaagermeister between songs, the edge slipped off and soon enough she was throwing all that she had into a fun and bountiful cacophony of technological sounds.

Shining through with 8-bit love and a bit lo-fi indie, Bachelorette echoed the feeling of a bedroom musician pining over social situations and one’s own sense of self if you spend too much time alone because you don’t want to spend too much time with people. You know it.

I thoroughly enjoyed Bachelorette- the people’s underdog.

 

By the time Wye Oak took to the stage I was a little restless. After what seemed to be a long time fixing up technical issues, they began rather unceremoniously.

Comprised of Jenn Wasner on guitar, bass and vocals and Andy Stack on drums and keys; their minimal line-up did not deter from maximum sound.

Wasner’s stage presence was energetic as she bopped her head along like Janice, the lovable Muppet bought to life whilst Stack complemented this greatly with his Meg White-esque understated presence.

Having just released their fourth album Shriek, it appeared that Wye Oak served a large amount of loyal fans as they played their first show in Melbourne in their nine-year existence.

It was very much American indie-rock that although listenable, is just very much American indie-rock.

 

Wye Oak were great. They ticked all the boxes but didn’t create any new boxes for me. And as I stood there looking out of the roof at the night sky I lamented Laura’s time at Big Freedia and so I bailed early, rode my bike home and twerked along to Death Cab For Cutie (my only American indie-rock sweethearts) to my boyfriend’s great dismay.

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Hometown: Baltimore, USA

Latest Release: Shriek, released April 2014 on Merge Records

Sounds Like: Metric, Sharon Van Etten, Hospitality

Say What?: Wye Oak’s song “Civilian” appeared in the Season Two trailer of The Walking Dead

 

 

 

 

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