Behind the Facade @ Webster Hall 12/20/11

Written by Big Smile Staff

Posted Dec 21, 2011, by The Bear.

Featured Artists: ; Genre: Rock;
Been a while since I’ve gone to a club just for the hell of it, even though I knew in advance that I didn’t know any of the bands performing. I’d almost forgotten that local shows of local acts have their own pleasures, especially when you come across good acts you might not have heard of otherwise. All of the bands that played on this slightly wet Tuesday evening at the Studio at Webster Hall in New York City were local to the New York area, and although I’d heard of one of them before I’d never seen any of them. I think I will keep an eye of quite a few of them in the future.

First up was DCO (Dry Clean Only). They’re normally a three-piece alternative punk band but they were playing without their drummer at this show so they had to strip it back and play a semi-acoustic style set. Not their usual show perhaps, but it’s a good idea for bands to do shows like this now and then. Such shows give them a chance to see if their songs hold up to being stripped down to basics and yet still work. For DCO the answer is yes; their songs do work as basic songs. They have good melodies and riffs that underscore decent vocals. Be interesting to see the full band for the contrast to what I saw this time.

Second up was Atabey, a fairly standard Hardcore / Emocore style band of the kind that we’ve been seeing a lot of in recent years. Didn’t particularly care for them myself (I think they still need work) but they have a following so maybe I was just missing something.

Deistruct followed next and the quality of the music spiked markedly. They play in a style similar to that of Atabey but they’re much better. They’re tighter as a band, play some massively pounding riffs, and the singer (somehow) is able to switch off between low, loud growling like the hardest of hardcore frontmen and singing properly in higher voice without breaking a sweat – and also without messing up his vocal chords. Don’t know how he does it but he should keep it up. You should keep an eye on Deistruct in the future.

The one band I’d heard of was When All Else Fails. They’re more of a straight Punk / Hardcore band and they tore things up quite nicely. They have two singers; one is male hardcore growler / screamer, and the other is a female singer. This kind of combo. probably shouldn’t work but it does here. The two of them compliment each other pretty well both vocally and in performance style. She tends to sing in a more relaxed manner while he screams and jumps around, both on stage and in the pit, rocking out harder than most of the audience, which is extra impressive because he has a prosthetic leg. They were, overall, the best act of the night.

The last act was Behind The Facade, and I had mixed feelings about them. They play well, and are a tight band, but the main problem was that the music was often quite dissonant, like they were deliberately experimenting with unusual chords and riffs. This is fine in and of itself, but can be a bit hard to get used to. However they emerged from the pack with their second to last song, which was entitled “At Least The Hate's Requited.” This song started out in the same weird way as their other songs but when they got to the chorus they segued into a much more straight-forward rock song with more accessible hooks and a tuneful melody. Also the energy level seemed to go up here as there was a greater connection with the crowd. This was the single most memorable song of the evening and apparently it was also a premiere, the band saying it was the first time they’d ever played it live. If that also means it’s a new song then I hope their future songs will follow its lead. At any rate they also deserve watching.

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