ADJECTIVE with DEFEKTORS, ANIMAL BODIES and KATASTROYKADate: 9 August 2009 Venue: Rickshaw Theatre
It seems these days that local musicians need to be more diverse than ever. I’ve witnessed artists who play multiple instruments, multiple sets, and even multiple gigs in one evening. These include the front woman of Animal Bodies, who alternated between guitar and bass; Ryan Riot is the front man for both the opening and the headlining band this evening; and Defektors came straight from a gig at the Biltmore Cabaret. This dedication is no longer an asset. It’s a requirement in the local music scene. As I wait for the show to begin, DJs Jeremy Inkel and kAINE D3l4y play an eclectic selection of remixes, including “Cities in Dust” by Junkie XL (which I know from the Gossip Girl soundtrack). But this evening is about NOT judging others, so keep reading.
Katastroyka are just three guys and they’re having a good time, having a good time. However, their gaping lack of a drummer means that they rely on beats from their laptop. Of the three bands in which guitarist Dave Cotton plays, this is my least favourite. They aren’t bad, they just aren’t for me. The Rickshaw Theatre acoustics were not helping either; Katastroyka’s sound has quite an echo and the use of an electric drum substitute sounded rather like jamming to the beat of a metronome. Don’t be disheartened though; their performance tomorrow night promises to be a very different experience.
Animal Bodies also had no drummer. This two-piece band rocked wild hair, make-up and clothes. Their MySpace provides almost no information about their band or their music, but they are the kind of modern head-banging that only requires a guitar (or bass) and keys and sound effects. The front-woman was quite versatile in her ability to switch from guitar to bass, but the echo effect on her microphone made the lyrics and screaming indistinguishable. Rickshaw Theatre acoustics fail again; this is the fine line between loud music and noise.
Defektors really catch my attention. They play hardcore, real deal garage punk that blows teen-angst-punk-rock band Twin Crystals out of the water. They are a three-piece band with alternating lead singers, and I only hear praise from various audience members. They’ve been on the local music scene for about four years, playing regular shows at local venues and generally rocking the socks off of the local audience. They’re playing one last Vancouver show tomorrow night before touring Western America; check out their MySpace for tour information.
Adjective is the true big-shot this evening. Their hardcore post-punk rock is rough and ready, very tight, and very big. This four-piece ensemble knows where it’s at; no matter what size your rock band is, you need a live drummer. Front-man Ryan Riot is the front-man of Katastroyka as well, so his dedication to playing two sets in one evening matches only that of Derek Simpson. Their former drummer is currently being replaced by Adam Veenendaal, the front-man of The Ludvico Treatment (another band in which Dave Cotton plays). Although drumming is not his chosen path, he does remarkably well during the set and the energy helps to escalate the volume and head-banging of Adjective. This is also aided by his angry face during the really intense drumming. Luna (guitar and vocals) sang just as much as Ryan, which I very much appreciated. While this may seem like a very plan gesture, I get the feeling that the fairness on this level playing field means that this band really does use synergy (which is just a fancy word for the whole being greater than the sum of the parts). Check out their MySpace page to get a better idea of their sound, and hopefully they’ll be booking even more shows in the upcoming months.