It's easy to forget what a top notch band Bantustans is if you haven't seen 'em in some time. Sporting an intricately constructed, lock-tight rhythm section that never misses a step, the group weaves an aural spell that pulls you under like a wicked undertow. The name of the game here is about the texture, the gyre and gimble of the music. Once upon a time, instrumental groups like these were far more common than they are now. Bantustans is to the contemporary scene what Surf bands were to the rise of rock and roll back in the 50s. Guitarist Aaron Evans's unique virtuosity was nicely supplemented this time around with a guest appearance by Kévin Sery of From Overseas. If you haven't caught this music yet, you need to.
Han Gan made the trip down from DC with its layered, punk infused sound. As a trio, they've gotten tighter every time I've heard them live. The group has deep roots here stretching back to the early aughts. Brian Nicewander is a solid front- presence and Matt Eng / Ahmasi O'Daniel complement each other as though they're brothers from other mothers. Their new EP, "The City Of Magnificent Intentions," is absolutely worth picking up. I look forward to seeing them continue to grow as a band.
Broken Beaches is one of my favorite local bands. They came on strong with a sound that runs a gamut from shades of the Seattle sound to shoe gaze to shiny chunks of Brit-Pop, all lathered in the best of noise rock. Sadly, they were plagued with set-up issues that pushed the evening up against the hard 11pm deadline that's imposed on Toast due to residential surroundings, shortening the following bands' sets. It was unfortunate, but once they got it together they killed. And they're an easy band to forgive.
From Overseas, Kévin Sery's solo project, opened up the evening. If you have yet to experience his live show full on immersed in the multimedia onslaught he brings to a stage, you've missed out. This music is church. The good kind of church. You don't listen to it so much as live through it. It sneaks in through your pores, prances around the cathedral of your mind, and leaves you marked.
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Next up for LAVA is "Lyrical Lounge" in cooperation with WHRV, featuring the winner of their singer/songwriter contest -- Nan Mcmillan, along with Norfolk music royalty, Skye Zentz & a set from Olivia Dyer. The event will be hosted by Jonah Grinkewitz of Court Street Company fame, alongside Ms. Zentz. Click here for more info.
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Virginia Beach. Alt-Rock.