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words by Ilya Blokh, photos by Jason Jamal Nakleh
Mike Armine of Rosetta with ppl rocking the f out.
Saturday (12/12) brought Tombs, Junius, Irepress and Rosetta to The Studio @ Webster Hall for a somewhat bizarre cross-section of heavy genres. Tombs are fresh off a month-long European tour promoting Winter Hours with Buried Inside, while Rosetta have just released a three-way split with Year Of No Light and (the newly revamped) East Of The Wall.
Rosetta opened the show with a mind-blowing set - easily the highlight of the show. Their vast, powerful, and almost nautical sound reminds me a lot of Russian Circles. The singer, Mike, was clearly not a fan of the stage and spent most of his time down on the floor with the crowd - always a welcome gesture. The crowning moment was when the audience literally peer pressured the guys into playing an encore - it's always great to see this sort of connection between band and fans. Can't wait for their next show in January with Tombs, Battlefields and City of Ships.
Next up were Irepress. Instead of focusing on a coherent sound, they threw a pile of disconnected elements - dance beats, proggy guitar noodling and some basic breakdowns - on top of each other, in a quantity over quality approach. Why have a keyboardist if he spends most of the show playing air drums? In any case, part of the crowd was clearly into it and there was a decent amount of "dancing", including a strangely epileptic mix of drum'n'bass moves and flying kicks.
Junius played next, with a heavier take on the old goth/darkwave sound that moved from straight pop songs to darker and more complex pieces, straying even into some Radiohead'ish moments. Not my cup of tea really, but it was well put together, soothing and a nice break before the last band.
The excellent sound at Webster Hall was a good match for Tombs' wall-of-sound approach, which tends to get lost on sub-par sound systems. Easily the most consistent and hard-working band in the NYC scene, the guys tore through a solid set with their trademark, all-business approach (have you ever seen one of them smile?) which, as always, ended with at least one band member smashing their instrument on the ground. They are at their best when the drums slow down and a little groove enters the mix and hopefully we'll see more of that in the future.
More pictures from the show are below...