Friday, September 21, 2007

Tonight @ The 5 Spot: Mock Orange, The Band Apart & Apollo Up!

Posted By on Fri, Sep 21, 2007 at 2:35 PM

click to enlarge mockorange.jpg

MOCK ORANGE If Mock Orange's tuneful, distortion-drenched shimmer and off-kilter heartfelt angularities suggest bands like Superchunk, Dinosaur Jr. and Pavement, it's because the Indiana quartet trace their origins back to '93. It took more than a few years to really coalesce, but with 2004's Mind Is Not Brain they achieved a wonderful synthesis of indie rock elements. Singer/guitarist Ryan Grisham's anxious lilting croon conspires with ringing, zig-zagging guitars to suggest Built to Spill or Modest Mouse, but their sound's grown louder and grander over the years, separating them from their obvious influences. Folksy acoustic strumming is the centerpiece of several of their brightest pop efforts to date, and a country-rock undertone appears as well. 9 p.m. at The 5 Spot —CHRIS PARKER

THE BAND APART It's this band's emphasis on melody rather than angst that lodges them in the Japanese punk music subgenre "melocore"—what we gaijin know as pop-punk—but The Band Apart's music has teased boundaries of punk so far out, it's evolved into a style all its own. Takeshi Arai, lead singer and rhythm guitarist, warbles in English with nary a noise-metal roar heard while his fingers dance down on the frets near the pickups, chugging Prince-like, sharp chords. The bassist slaps out a groove equally sufficient for a Brothers Johnson or Phish record, while the lead guitarist is off on some Frank Zappa math-rock trip. If anything connects the band's current sound to their punk roots, it's the mid-song detours into ska-inflected rhythms and the drummer's rock-steady beats. The music is a conglomeration of disparate influences that seem like a mess on paper, but provide joyful, danceable pop tunes. 9 p.m. at The 5 Spot (opening for Mock Orange) —MARK MAYS

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