Thursday, August 4th, 2005
Rave On, Full On
Despite long hiatuses, constantly-shifting lineups and generally keeping a low profile, Burlington’s SIANspheric have still managed to establish themselves over the past decade as one of the bands keeping the true space-rock/shoegaze flame alive. To celebrate their tenth anniversary, they recently released the RGB DVD/CD collection which functions as an aural and visual retrospective of their career. I haven’t watched the DVD yet, but I suspect this is another case where advertising it as a DVD with a bonus CD is a bit of false advertising, as the CD invariably has far more interesting content on it. But anyway…
Despite going way back with SIANspheric (My first band shared a bill with them at my high school’s coffee house in… Fall 1993? They were still called Gleet then), I confess I’ve never really listened to them. They always seemed to be a little too intent on exploring the noisy end of the space-rock genre, perfectly happy to do away with conventional song trappings like hooks and structure in pursuit of the perfect drone. Seeing them live for the first time back in March really only seemed to confirm that, as their set was a full-on aural assault that, while viscerally enjoyable, was also pretty exhausting. So on listening to the CD portion of RGB, I was a little surprised how listenable their studio output was.
Stylistically, they’re hard to pin down. There’s huge echoey hazes that recall early Verve, songs recalling the liquid beauty of Slowdive, drones worthy of Spacemen 3 and massive piledriving walls of distortion that could be Loveless run through four or five more Big Muffs. Sound still sometimes takes priority over songwriting, but there’s enough here to appeal even to a pop-centric sort like myself. Fellow shoegaze-nut Mystery & Misery just ran a review of RGB as well and The Toronto Star (Bugmenot) talked to the band about the process of looking back and what lays ahead.. Sonic Unyon has some songs available to stream off their website as well as offering this download:
SIANspheric will be celebrating the release of RGB last week as well as the end of a brief tour through the American east coast (a couple reviews of their Chicago show, courtesy of a couple of Big Takeover listers) with a show at the Drake this Friday, August 5. They’re playing with Off The International Radar and Sunriser, tickets $10 at the door. Bring earplugs. For the love of God, bring earplugs.
James and Emily Metric tell MuchMusic about going all DIY in the making of new album Live It Out, out September 27 (and not October 4 as previously reported, at least if their website is to be believed). They’ve also got audio from one of the new tracks, “Monster Hospital”, available in RealAudio.
Anyone who didn’t feel like mortgaging their house to see Black Mountain open up for Coldplay this past week will be pleased to know that they’re doing their own show at Lee’s Palace on October 1. Tickets a non-bank-breaking $10.50.
The Magnolia Electric Company plays Lee’s Palace tomorrow night. Maybe you noticed I was giving away passes? Oh – too late now. Anyway, JAM! talks to Electric Magnolia Jason Groth about the band and their undeniable
Torontoist week in shows. Wheeeeee.
np – Luna / Bewitched