Thursday, October 25th, 2007
Tonight I Have To Leave It
Even though I wrote up Our Ill Wills from Shout Out Louds a couple weeks ago, it’s managed to stay in fairly heavy listening rotation hereabouts. I think it just suits what I’ve been in the mood for lately – well-produced, unpretentious and slightly dour pop music that’s not trying to change my world. It’s perfectly happy to have a seat and just hang out and that’s about how their show at the Mod Club this past Monday night went down.
For expediency’s sake we’ll skip past the first band on the bill, a trio from LA that dealt in overdramatic alt.radio rock fronted by an American Apparel ad and just deal with the Swedish portions of the bill. Johnossi were a duo named for the members of the band (John and Ossi, natch) and while their self-titled debut didn’t convince me – I thought they sounded a bit like The Hives wearing cowboy hats – their live show proved they were deadly serious and able to coax more rock out of an acoustic guitar and drum kit than I’d have thought possible. Stylistically I’d still go with the above reference points – the do blend classic hard rock with a cowpunk/rockabilily sensibility – but expressed with nothing but respect. Still not feeling the urge to revisit the album (though I probably will), but I’d happily see them again live in a heartbeat.
While what I’d heard from the first Shout Out Louds record hadn’t captured my imagination the way the new one has, I’ll be first to admit that it came across much better live. The Ill Wills material, with its widescreen production, is harder to pull off than the drier, scrappier Howl Howl Gaff Gaff songs and the band mostly opted not to try and reproduce all the nuances, instead stripping the arrangements down for live performance. I expected as much and thus shouldn’t really have been disappointed that “Impossible” didn’t sound as sweeping as it does on record but still was, just a bit.
But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t try to make things sound interesting. Each member of the band seemed to come equipped with an arsenal of percussion – shakers, tambourines, wooden blocks, cowbells, whatever. If you could hit it and have it make a noise, they probably had it up there somewhere and while a few shakers does not a dance party make, it made for a much more rhythmic show than one might have thought they had in them. Though NOW was more than a little unimpressed with the show, I had a good time with it and Our Ill Wills continues to be spun on a more than regular basis.
The band had hoped to keep a tour diary of sorts on their North American tour but as the first dispatch at Spinner indicates, things got off to a rough start with bus troubles and while they’ve managed to get back on schedule, they might have other things on their minds. Maybe they’ll catch up eventually. They did make it to Minnesota Public Radio to record a session, though, which you can stream or download. Newsday and AM New York also have interviews. Update: A second tour diary update is now up at Spinner.
Photos: Shout Out Louds, Johnossi @ The Mod Club – October 22, 2007
MP3: Shout Out Louds – “Tonight I Have To Leave It”
MP3: Johnossi – “Man Must Dance”
Video: Shout Out Louds – “Tonight I Have To Leave It” (MOV)
Video: Shout Out Louds – “Impossible” (YouTube)
Video: Johnossi – “Man Must Dance” (YouTube)
Video: Johnossi – “Execution Song” (YouTube)
Video: Johnossi – “Glory Days To Come” (YouTube)
MySpace: Shout Out Louds
Harp offers up an excerpt from All Over But The Shouting: An Oral History Of The Replacements.