Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Wailing Wall at Death by Audio

Sunday night I trekked out to Death by Audio to catch The Wailing Wall with Tiger Saw, Lazarus, and Unbunny. If your guilt free pleasure is going to a venue that looks like a basement in a gritty squat, this is the place for you. There was a weak turn out of about 15 people. At the same time, this gave an intimate feeling that's foreign at most NYC shows.

Moon FoodUnbunny was pared down to singer-songwriter Jarid del Deo, who definitely plays up the bookish, West Coast aesthetic. He is just a guy with his guitar and his eyes shut tightly. His performance was a bit raw - at one point he forgot the end to his song - but he also brought an endearing, vulnerable sensibility. He sounds like a more acoustic Neutral Milk Hotel, with sleepy melodies and poetic lyrics. He's the kind of person you want to tell tell you a story during a late-night road trip. His new album, Moon Food, is set to release on June 1.

William Trevor Montgomery, aka Lazarus, followed next. A fellow crowd member likened him to an early Bruce Springstein. I wouldn't give him that status yet - the music was too drawn out for my liking and he had minimal texture. But hey, maybe it was just a lazy Sunday.

I was excited to see Tiger Saw, the seasoned veterans of the bunch. Dylan Metrano (lead vocals, guitar) is a soft-spoken, mousey dude who packs soulful lyrics about broken relationships and seeking independence. What the band lacked in performance, they made up for with hypnotic blues rhythms. I also learned that Metrano came out with a book last August called All My Friends Are Right Here With Me: A Decade in the Indie Rock Underground. It's a history of the band and its relationship with the DIY indie community. Sounds like a good read!
Order the book + CDs here
Just the music on iTunes/Amazon

The Wailing Wall had an in-your-face wackness that was missed with the other bands. Front man Jesse Rifkin (vocals, guitar) is the master mind of the group and knows how to command the stage. He started out wailing like a modern-day Arlo Guthrie to the powerful silence of feedback and occasional chiming of Tibetan prayer bells. The set progressed with Rifkin's introspective lyrics and Jason Anderson (lead guitar) playing some sick riffs. At one point they reminded me of Foreign Born. They're a little bit country, a little bit rock n' roll, a little bit all over the place. In this sense, I think the band needs to develop a more distinctive sound. Perhaps this is because the members are always circulating. Still, I see them getting a lot stronger in the next year. Their new album The Low Hanging Fruit is set to release on June 8th with JDub records.
Pre-order The Low Hanging Fruit on Amazon


Diana S. said...

Unbunny!! yes!!

Jim said...

Unbunny's U.S. release is June 1st. And there's a new 7" single available now @ parasol.com.