Spirit in the Room is becoming one of my favorite bands to see live, their energy is dark and powerful and the atmosphere they create in just a few seconds, wraps the room with mystery as if someone was escaping a crime scene…
The Satellite was hosting Dorito Fest on Wednesday night, yes with free Dorito for everyone attending, but the good and the salt were coming from the stage, where Blood Candy opened the night with plenty of fuzz. Through a thick wall of sound, the three women played reverb-drenched, dark to melancholic soundscapes that barely accelerated but were always habited by front girl Tara Jane’s sweet and ethereal vocals. Between dreamy and spacey, their music was twisting the 90s shoegazing scene (think My Bloody Valentine of course) into a more girlie thing, slowing dancing in the dark as shadows were filtering through the noisy fuzz.
With Spirit in the Room, it’s all about the atmosphere, although it’s often difficult to know exactly what’s going on:they populate their songs with ambient and macabre sounds of dog barking, baby crying, phone ringing, or even church bells and loud earthshaking noises, while frontman Dennis Sanders completes the scene with his creepy whisper immediately followed by a blood-thirsty scream. With Darren Howard on bass and Kyle Nadeau on guitar, their sound is habited by a tremor, a menacing industrial noise and a taste for darkness, which produce an hybrid beast born from the carcasses of Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and the German industrial scene and dark metal. However, you certainly can encounter vicious to infectious dance beats below these deep bass lines and the songs either sprawl like soundtracks for horror movies or become furious playgrounds for their charismatic frontman. With an outfit barely changing – he is always wearing a dark suit, leather gloves and white loafers – Dennis Sanders often runs throughout the stage like a ambushed man, inspiring fear and danger, running away from a bad nightmare, and screaming his way out of a song with a troubling title such as ‘I am in Your Headlights’, ‘Churchburner’, ‘Destroyed by the Future’, ‘The Fever is Love’, ‘Locked’… I have seen Spirit in the Room a few times and their visibly unrehearsed shows are never the same but are always fascinating, Dennis Sanders races and rushes from one side to the edge of the stage, trapped between the muscular bass delivery of Darren Howard and the sophisticated guitar work of Kyle Nadeau, while the show often ends into a fury letting the beast escape.
The night ended with Dominator, a band blending a dark electronic synthwave with a punk esthetic and fronted by an aggressive singer. It was a bit goth, totally cold and decadent, as the guitar work on one side of the stage (was that Bobby Hecksher of the Warlocks?) was crashing against the synth from the other side, bookending the singer fighting for his life. It was music for the late hours at the corner of a dark alley, and if this sounded too sinister for you, but you could have always found comfort with a free bag of Dorito.
New Wave pop bliss out
I WISH I HADN’T GONE
a time-capsule type of roster
Creem -America’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – November 1971 (Volume 3, Number 6)
“Sure, we don’t pay much but then who else do ya know who’ll publish you?”
in the immortal words of Jason Isbell to me at Gov Ball a coupla years ago: “let’s do this…”
one of the great top tens of the 2020
old school Puerto Rican underground sounds
a masterful pop about loving a drug addict
Interpol is at Just Like Heaven
the best post punk UK rock band alive