September 27, 2007

LIVE REVIEW: Giant Skyflower Band, Hemlock Tavern, 9/20/07

Today we depart from Teutonic masters of techno and return to our other darlings here at Hey! Student -- California hippies! No, I kid actually, these guys aren't hippies, although you might think otherwise given that the band in question is called Giant Skyflower Band, and the title of one of the tracks I'm posting is "Rainbows and Dreams (With Worms Singing)." Even though for the most part I have nothing against real hippies, I'm happy to report that Giant Skyflower Band are beer-swilling folk just like you and I. ("But Dan, couldn't hippies drink beer too?" Quiet, you!)

Giant Skyflower Band are led by Skygreen Leopards impresario Glenn Donaldson, who plays guitar and sings. One other guitarist, a bassist and a drum machine fill out the lineup. This live setup was really effective, and I'll explain why. Like almost all new rock music that I enjoy, they drench their songs in waves of distortion. Playing along to a drum machine was a good choice, because it allowed enough space for the guitars and bass to play off of each other. The drum machine was never that prominent, so I'm glad they didn't have to coerce some dude into playing the drums with a sad face.

The tracks that I've posted from their album are quiet, but in concert the two guitars easily filled the room. GSB (as I shall call them) draw on the same sound that inspires the Black Lips and Sic Alps, slowed down to a pace that provokes head-nodding rather than pogoing. Here's an excellent video of the band that was shot at Hemlock Tavern a couple of months ago.

Giant Skyflower Band - Rainbows and Dreams (With Worms Singing) [Blood of the Sunworm LP, 2007]

Giant Skyflower Band - The Archangel (Hurray for the Beast) [Blood of the Sunworm LP, 2007]

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