If you love dancing & gettin’ buck, check out Javelin. If you love drugs and drone rock that makes your heart pound out of your chest, check out Guardian Alien. We saw both promising bands at Shea Stadium, and were caught off guard with the level of sheer intensity.
Last Friday I strolled into the jam-packed attic venue in time to be sucked into the world of none other than Guardian Alien. There’s not much to say about this band except “Dammit, they are intense!” Mixing drone and psychedelic rock, their music is an endless but hyper-attentive round of pounding rhythms and etched-in melodies and, simply, a LOT of noise. Their set began and the noise of the crowd disappeared. Everyone was entranced in the energy of Guardian Alien and the commitment they made to their stage performance.
It was hard to really comprehend anything during their set, which started and didn’t settle down until it was over and my ears were ringing. I simply fell into the slices of the complicated drum beats, which circled and evolved, elevating the rest of the musicians with it. The vocalist sand into aNevermind the fact that the drummer, Greg Fox, who used to play in Liturgy (Brooklyn’s Black Metal Band), never opened his eyes once. The band also featured an instrument I’d never laid eyes on, a sort of modified steel lap guitar called a shahi baaja, that featured both string and keys, made incredible noises, and is only really heard otherwise in Hebrew music and Indian techo. Hah!
Guardian Angel is the love project of Greg Fox and 4 other kindred spirits who somehow found a common passion for loud, cyclical, drone rock psychedelia, with cosmic overtones. Although at the time I thought their performance was one of the strangest I’ve subjected myself to lately, I also felt strongly connected to their unique sound.
Eventually, Javelin arrived with a sweet, huge, decorative boombox back set. Javelin is a fun and satisfying dance/rock band who are a joy to see in person. With live (and really intense) drumming and fun instrument props, like a kazoo, these guys always get the party started. In fact, the crowd was having so much fun it almost seemed like we could start up a congo line or something. Almost.
Javelin’s been off the grid lately, and for good reason: they’ve been recording their new album, High Beams, which is coming out March 5th and whose single “Nnormal” you can stream below! Their sound has evolved dramatically over the past few years. Less of the hip-hop influence and a crazy amount of sampling on 2009/10 era Jamz N Jemz to create really catchy and smart pop hooks that you could dance to all night. They’ve moved to a more mature sound, one that’s semi-apparent on 2011’s Canyon Candy and even more in their new songs, based on original hooks and a breed of super-pop that’s ecstacy-laced and really pure gold.
Javelin’s a big name to play at Shea, and they were reveling in the sweaty, crammed venue, practically playing in the pit. I was seriously tempted to hop on stage when a few of their addicting concert staples, like “Vibrationz”, started playing. They gave the show 100% and, besides the occasional flat note, the show was one big party.