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Quilt At Mercury Lounge, Saturday, September 21st, 2012, Reviewed

I reckon Boston trio Quilt have been around a good five years by now though they released their debut album last year. I guess they've spent the remaining time working on their face melters. Quilt are a 60s inspired psychedelic guitar jams behind close, two part harmonies, that ebb and flow like a dream. 

On stage the two singers, Anna Rochinski and Shane Butler, hardly battle for the spotlight, they are both somewhat introverted and neither seriously discuss what they are up to and that's a shame because a) their lyrics are impressionistic and it would be nice to have some insight and b) speaking to them after the show, Shane is a gregarious good guy and Anna sweet natured. 

So you are left with the music and if they had a bassist, which they need, they would be a rock band, but without one they are folk rockers. Folk rockers whose first song of the evening is a brilliant but misplaced drone rocker. There has something remote and disaffected to the song, kinda pulling you but away and not deeper into it. 

By the second song of the evening, album "Young Gold" the sound begins to hypnotize. Anna used to sing in a classical choir and what it gives to the band, to the harmonies is a chanting effect, it is as if what you are hearing has some hidden secret to life and if you listen closer things will be revealed to all.

Set highlight was the penultimate "Milo", an enchanted song built upon sound movements and with Anna banging a tambourine as well as playing an organ and a guitar and the tall, serenely cool Butler who shows emotion by buckling at the knees. There is a power behind their music but in the lulls you could imagine everybody sitting cross legged in kaftans.On record the songs are oddly short, the longest a measly five minutes for a band that should be playing these loops, "You're lost in your head, why won't you let yourself be", the duo sing and it is the sort of question that should take a time to work itself out. The sound is orchestral and deep and the drummer, John Andrews, working without the safety net of a bassist, plays short rolling patterns that the two guitarists slip in front of, sometimes even behind. 

Anna plays a tatty white guitar and Shane carries his guitar high on his chest, and they are both dig deep into the songs and are professional and smart. Oh and as long as we are making fun of Pitchfork, Quilt included this quite from the dire website, an existential joke no doubt: "Either they replicate specific moments in the history of 20th-century American music that we cannot concretely pin down, or they are designed to reflect a set of unwritten expectations and parameters" It is 2012, as opposed to what?

Let's see if we can improve on that: Quilt use close harmony and interlocking guitars to make drone rock. that doesn't always drone or rock but always holds your attention. 

Or: Quilt bought Surrealistic Pillow, threw away the album but learnt to play the sleeve.

Or: Shane is tall. John needs a shave and Anna has the prettiest eyes.

Grade: B+

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