Photos / Review: Lo Moda, Miracles, Thrust Lab @ the Windup Space (2008.11.21)

IMG_0112 Photo credit: Greg Szeto

Baltimore delivers another strong evening of music and live performance to my senses.  This time, the occasion is a trifecta of new releases on Peter Quinn’s (Lo Moda) record label Creative Capitalism: Lo Moda’s sophomore LP Replica Watches, Miracles’ Colony Collapse and a new release from Thrust Lab.

I swear the boys in Thrust Lab must machines…because I think they play at least 2 shows a week. 

Kudos for that, and the fact that I haven’t seen them play an un-engaging set to boot, consistently keeping things tight and focused.  Their latest show was only made better by the clips of the original 1980′s Transformers animated movie playing in the background, perfectly accompanying their warm, electronics-laden drum-and-bass dance party.

IMG_0148 Miracles, hailing from Brooklyn, were the only non-hometown band on the bill.  And they blew me out of the water.  They expanded upon Thrust Lab’s drum-and-bass setup by adding that more direct, post-punk twitch to their music with urgent vocals, skittering sheets of drums and bass and swifter and more insistent tempos.  The entire set was one big cathartic crescendo.  I can’t wait to grab their new release.

Despite an excellent set by Miracles, it was clear that Lo Moda were the headliners.

Lo Moda are easily one of the most impressive and under-recognized acts in all of Baltimore.  The maturity of their music, performance and philosophy stands pretty much unrivaled, particularly in the Baltimore rock scene (for more insight, check my recent group interview).  On stage, they brim with confidence.  Watching and hearing them gradually build their minimalist masterpieces out of nothing, live, is remarkable and a testament to both their intimate comfort playing with their bandmates and veteran status as musicians.  Their music has an air of antiquity, this ageless and time-lost quality about it, largely due to the mystique of Quinn’s vocals, and the complex textures of spacious and precise drums, bass and guitar, anchored by lush-as-velvet tones from viola and keys.  Lo Moda lay down spacious and downtempo tracks (“Anonymous Cats”, “Istanbul”) as expertly as they conjure propulsive, mid-tempo post-punk (“It’s a Wonder”), all with a burning intensity and passion.  Some unfortunate mic feedback crept into the later songs of the set, but couldn’t take away from the pure alchemy of their performance.

Lo Moda

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Thrust Lab

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