Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Quick Word About Zorch

We were headed to the car after the Deerhoof show (I promise I’ll let it go after this) when we heard some electronic ruckus coming from the Mohawk’s inside room.  It sounded like some kind of post-90s rave freakout, but with the undeniable sound of live, and very active, drumming. It literally stopped us in our tracks.  Our interest must have been obvious, because a person walking by nonchalantly muttered to us “they’re pretty badass, actually.”  We decided to go back in and check it out.

The band playing inside, which I recently tracked down, was a local Austin band called Zorch.  Like Ben Butler and Mousepad, Zorch is a high-tech drum and keyboard duo, but their approach was much less funky and much more intense.  They were dishing out some really amazing musicianship, actually, but inside that little room at the Mohawk the performance was nothing short of ear-bleedingly, painfully loud.  I actually think that I felt parts of my hearing being erased by standing in the room.   Check out this video – except imagine it at, like, jet engine decibel level.

Obviously, as a duo with a pretty full sound, there is some automation happening in Zorch’s music, but if you watch the video carefully it allows you to see how the tech never runs amok as an end in itself – just like it oughta be.  The keyboardist sets up the arpeggiation to keep the intensity up while focusing on other aspects of the song (bassline, etc).  For the drummer, of course, it’s no secret.  His feverishly Bozzio-esuque hyperactivity rises to the challenge of keeping up with the machinery.

So, even though I did not stay long at their show (out of self-defense for my hearing), Zorch made enough of an impression on me to look up almost a month later.  I downloaded their EP earlier this week, and it captures them.  If you are turned off by the poppier aspects of my blog entries and want something a little more experimental, you’ll like them – it’s got my interest this week.  Plus it’s free. Furthermore, after acquainting myself with the recording, I think that I might be open to checking them out live again, only armed with earplugs this time.

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