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Minnow At Origami Vinyl, Friday February 6th 2015

IMG_4803 copy


A relatively new band called Minnow gave an in-store at Origami Vinyl on Friday night and their sound seemed definitively too big for the tiny store. I had heard about them through different local papers and I decided to check out this bait fish live – but I don’t know, their moniker may have a deeper meaning?

They had a big, expansive and very atmospheric sound with layered guitar-synth-drums, starting a bit like a Mogwai or an Explosions in the Sky track, but if they were any of that, they had vocals, Nik O’Hara’s powerful, in-your-face vocals, heroically breaking through the density and loudness of the music.

Minnow has released a self-titled debut EP almost two years ago, and last November, they put out a LP entitled ‘Trembles and Temperance’ via Anchor Eighty Four Records and produced by Jack Shirley, who also worked with Whirr, Joyce Manor and Deafhaven,… some excellent references!

When the sextet started a new song, a desolated and atmospheric vibe, often melancholic, kept bringing me back to some experimental rock à la Mogwai or even Warpaint, which was soon awakened by thunderous guitars and complex, energetic percussion kicking in to paint moody and even violent soundscapes. It was a type of music cruising between somber waters, with a lot of personality but navigating between anger and sadness, floating between aggressiveness and pain. Even though the mood was definitively not on the upbeat side, there were glorious and soaring moments in the middle of contemplative bits.

It is always difficult to see what’s going on up in the mezzanine at Origami Vinyl, but they seemed to use a lot of instruments and percussion, and I read that multi-instrumentalist Curtis Baxter uses a unique set-up including drums, glockenspiel, sleigh bells, tambourines, cymbals, piano, and organ, adding complexity and depth to guitars, played by Madison Megna and Kenny Tye, and drums played by Alex Onate…

Minnow is one of the most highly anticipated independent bands of 2015, and it’s gonna be again a hard one to pigeonhole, but one thing is sure, they were all about moody atmospheres mixing a curious nostalgia with a dramatic and wrapping sound.

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