Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Live: The Vacant Lots @ Six D.O.G.S (Athens, March 21, 2015)

If you take a look to the list of musicians who have collaborated with Burlington, Vermont psych rock duo The Vacant Lots, you'll get a pretty accurate idea of what they sound like: Alan Vega of Suicide has done remix work for them as well as Anton Newcombe of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Sonic Boom of Spacemen 3, while Galaxy 500's Dean Wareham has played guitar on a song off their debut album "Departure". Add a bit of The Jesus And Mary Chain's barbed wire guitar noise to the whole psych-garage-punk sonic collision and the picture is complete.

Guitarist Jared Artaud and electronic manipulator/cymbal crasher Brian MacFadyen don't bother with niceties between songs. They concentrate on their instruments, frequently going from one song to the next by adding droning sounds in-between, to make sure there are no gaps to their noise attack.

Repetition has served well many bands before them and The Vacant Lots subscribe to this sonic approach which adds to the intensity of their wall of noise. To break the monotony, the danger of too much repetition, they share the vocal duties between the two of them, while the noise is put on hold on a few occasions in favor of a more melodic, psychedelic approach - the moments where their Suicide-Mary Chain attack gives way to the specter of Spacemen 3.

After witnessing their live set and comparing it to the way they sound on their record, it seems clear that The Vacant Lots are progressing as they gather experience. It is still early days, but judging on the company they keep and their very satisfying performance on Six D.O.G.S's stage, this is definitely a band we should be keeping an eye and ear on.

The show opened by Closer, a much more experienced local guitar pop band which formed in the early '90s. Their tight, hour-long set combined past hits with new material from their as yet unreleased new work and proved that they remain a force to be reckoned with in the local rock scene.

Closer, live @ Six D.O.G.S
Here's a sample of The Vacant Lot's set at the Six D.O.G.S club:

The Vacant Lots, live @ Six D.O.G.S (March 21st, 2015)

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