Photos / Live Review: Appleseed Cast, An Horse, Solar Powered Sun Destroyer @ Sonar Club Stage (2009.04.15)
MP3: An Horse – Postcards
Though the visual fireworks Wednesday night undoubtedly went to the Faint/Ladytron show, the aural ecstasy hit peak levels on the club stage of Sonar, where newly re-organized DC natives Solar Powered Sun Destroyer channeled a cinematic intensity reminiscent of Danny Boyle’s Sunshine, perfecting the scream and gradually overwhelming roar of the perpetual combustions that fuel a star. Much like a dying sun, their sound conjures images of faded power, gasping for a few last brilliant moments before exhaustion (mirrored by the sweat-drenched and spent bodies of the band at the close of the set). At times, they bore some similarity to early work from Thursday as lead-singer as he took a similar, hardcore-influenced approach to delivering vocals, oscillating between delicately vulnerable to explosively cathartic, always with spring-loaded tension ready to trigger.
Instrumentals waxed and waned similarly as each member was given a chance to shine, emerging from the swirling, heavy din of the group as a unique voice. Particularly impressive was the muscular power and robotic precision of Jimmy Rhodes’ drumming. It all coalesced together into something massive in the most physical sense. It was impossible not gravitate towards them if you were anywhere near their orbit.
The Aussie duo An Horse followed, upping the ante even more. Lead singer Kate Cooper’s Feist-like vocals nimbly punctuating some fantastically tight guitar and drum work. At first blush, their music is relatively simple and effective indie-pop (at least on record), but live it truly blooms into something bigger and better, something more infinitely more immediate and affecting.
Appleseed Cast emerged to bathe the room in intricately weaved aural goodness. Much like their two openers (but multiplied many-fold), the Appleseed Cast exude a gravitational force, a primal invitation to visit dwell and explore the deepest recesses and catacombs of the band member’s collective creative spirit. If you are big on aural immersion, painted with broad strokes of post-rock, they are for you. If not, your loss.