THANK YOU at The Arches, 07/06/11

Desmond Shaw

Watching the Baltimore math-pop noise-lite four-piece, I had a lot of fun dissecting their influences. After the thirty minute set I came away with an impressive range, starting with the kind of ecstatic, guitar-riff work you’d expect from Fucked Up, and finishing somewhere close to the kind of relentless drumming you’d expect from The Mars Volta, with elements of My Bloody Valentine and Battles (who THANK YOU are opening for tonight) to boot. Usually I’d steer clear of what might sound like an overly-saturated mess, but THANK YOU seemed to of developed a tightness, or maybe better word might be cohesion, that’s as enticing as a post-exam pint (and for many of us, the post-degree dole queue).

It’s true that on times the song-writing feels a little disjointed, with certain sections feeling like they were simply tagged onto the end of another, but the writing itself is that excellent type of engaging catchiness – something that’s both intellectually stimulating and at the same time manages to stick on you. Furthermore, I’m not convinced that THANK YOU would be at all interested in what I had to say about their song-writing anyway – on stage, they are clearly having a lot of fun with their own material, engaged in it in a way that suggests just how much thought has been put into it. I’d be surprised if they someone told me they had totally stuck to the script tonight as the performance seems littered with improvised moments, which again, occasionally don’t seem to fit the picture, but on the whole are adventurous and refreshing (which coincidentally is an excellent description of the haircuts on offer tonight).

GOLDEN WORRY is out now on the excellent Thrill Jockey label. Check out the guys on MySpace.


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