Ebony Tusks and Netherfriends @ Replay
Ebony Tusks is a force when the trio takes the stage. The way the three dudes spin out their grimy, industrial beats and heavy-hitting lyrics makes their shows visceral and raw. Likewise, Netherfriends can command a stage like no other. The Chicago based musician combines the neo-hippie vibe of Mac Demarco while delving into something more immediate. On Sunday, Replay Lounge will host the two of them for an unbelievable night.
When I saw that Netherfriends was a one man, instrument looping band, I was skeptical of his live show. Then I saw concert footage. Shawn Rosenblatt eschews the introverted, caught up in technology haze that surrounds a lot of musicians in this category. As Netherfriends, he takes on a larger than life persona that works well to counterbalance his self-conscious, hyper-analytical lyrics for a stage show that is less a musician making music for observers and more a shared creation between audience and musician.
Rosenblatts’ songs revolve around the highs and lows that accompanying growing up, or being seen as grown up in society. There’s a self-aware second guessing that happens again and again in his lyrics, And when this is understitched with tracks that build into huge climaxes, there is a sense of discovery (even if there actually isn’t). That’s about as post-modern as it gets.
To say Ebony Tusks moves in a different vein is probably the biggest understatement I could make. The trio is about as far away from Netherfriends’ jangly loops as possible. That said there is a continuity between the two acts’ passions, their ability to infuse their music with their entire being. This energy, this power can be witnessed on stage and heard on Ebony Tusks’ recordings equally. While this aesthetic tends to favor one or the other, Ebony Tusks has found a way to get the best of both worlds–making solid songs and having a powerful stage show.
The trio’s music combines the heaviness of Death Grips with the wind tunnel dance vibe of Vince Staples. That said, the band isn’t just a combination of familiar parts. Ebony Tusks’ ability to skate cleanly over polyrhythms and to constantly increase urgency in their songs makes them one of the most dynamic acts in the area (if not across the nation). If you haven’t seen them yet, you should change that immediately.
The Sunday show will definitely be an experience. Between Ebony Tusks’ heavy hip hop and Netherfriends’ loop-centric pop hop, The Replay Lounge will be hosting one of the best shows of the month. The show starts at 10pm and will be the best way to start the week.