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Miami Horror At Amoeba, Tuesday June 9th 2015 Review

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Miami Horror

 

I only know one band with ‘horror’ in the moniker and they are from the UK, but are Miami Horror really from Miami? Noooo, they are Australians once again, but their music sounds very American, I will try to explain later. Even the weather had taken a tropical turn for the occasion, Tuesday was an unusual stormy and hot day for Los Angeles and the Miami Horror quartet was playing an in store at Amoeba.

They had brought a lot of Korg and synths on stage and basically had crowded the stage with a lot of stuff, but ‘Real Slow’, the first song that they played, sounded like a new-disco-dance-floor kind of song, with a rather slow rhythm sung with a falsetto. Then they became very funky during the next song performed by another singer who had a deeper and more aggressive croon, reminding me the good old times of Chic’s ‘Le Freak’ and Nile Rodgers’ funky grooves… they had nevertheless a large range inside their dance soundscapes, alternating dreamy ones with synth-heavy dance floors, bringing more guitars into action, raising arms in the air. There was even an almost late-Motown-Rock-With-You vibe in some of their songs, or a vague exotic feel with more funk in the mix and a summery feeling invading all their moves.

They certainly gave a set very dance-oriented, and if their tunes built around vaporous harmonies and house beats were not my favorite ones as they seem to borrow to anything from the Bee Gees to Foster the People, they surely had a hit with the Michael Jackson-esque ‘Love Like Mine’, and Out of Sight’ even started like a Talking Heads song smoothed around the angles to make it sound more disco-like.

These guys have visibly been on a heavy diet of 80-90’s American music, that they are regurgitating into some explosive dance bombast mixed with house beats, for the joy of everyone in the store. It was exultant and exhilarating and Miami Horror are probably made to be seen live, because they were dancing and moving along.

The Aussie band was also signing their new album ‘All Possible Futures’, released on Haven Sounds/Dine Alone Records, and if you want to know a bit more about what they mean by this title, this is what Miami Horror’s Ben Plant explained to Amoeba: ‘We wanted to move to LA for inspiration and influence more than anything. It helped us to experiment and find our own sound. If you look at a lot of the alternative electronica and dance music coming out of LA, it definitely has a feel – we love the weirdness and sunshine. It has been a strong influence on many of our favorite records from the ’60s-’80s’, and this weirdness and sunshine seem to be their main inspiration, may be even the inspiration behind their moniker? ‘Because this was our sophomore album and a defining time in our career we really wanted to ensure that we creatively explored every direction we could possibly go,’ he continued, ‘We wanted to make something that lasts and grows the more you listen to it; we found a lot of fans overseas had been listening to our first album for years and that’s what made us realize the importance of making something permanent in this day and age.’

Their set at Amoeba sounded like a sunny dance party, disco or post disco, you decide, avidly phagocytizing a lot of our collective dance music memory and throwing up many enjoyable and poppy slices. This happy band may have too many good ideas at the same place, but it mostly worked, all upbeat, funky and colorful like the artwork for their album. I have even read that their dream collaboration would be Prince? It would totally make sense.

setlist
Real Slow
Love Like Mine
Out of Sight
Who is Gonna Save Us?
Sometimes
Holidays
Forever Ever

A few pictures here.

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