Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Live Review: Tentacle Boy At The 400 Bar (1/31/08)

Download: Tentacle Boy - "Fly"

Last Thursday night at 400 Bar was the first live gig for electronic-pop duo Tentacle Boy, following three other diverse acts (industrial experimental band Combat Astronomy, funky guitar-friendly New Oceans and the synth-heavy Nobot). Nobot played a good set of fun, electronic jams that kept the crowd enthralled and the floor packed; the songs were heavy and intoxicating, with a unique blend of synchronized sounds and endearing vocals that truly sounded like robots speaking in electric beats and blips. It was a fantastic mix of rock and electronic pop.

Tentacle Boy immediately followed Nobot, bringing what would be considered a similar sound, but with something a little mellower to the table. Tentacle Boy are softer, balancing high and low-pitched sounds, and featuring echoing vocals and sounds reminiscent of water droplets. After seeing their video for ‘Nobody’ months ago on their Myspace page, I was really curious to see how they’d translate in real time. Live electronic music can be a tricky thing. At times it’s such a smorgasbord of random sounds that it comes out sounding like an exploding computer, and other times it can be loopy and dull, drowning itself in repetition.

Luckily, Tentacle Boy don’t fall into these categories. This being their first live performance, they could have easily been pegged for a band that had already gotten their feet wet in the local live circuit. Adam To and Chris Sexton played their keyboard-loving little hearts out, nailing their dreamy harmonies and their pulsing, aesthetically pleasing beats that I’d become addicted to when I’d first heard their recordings. Bass was interlaced on a few tracks, giving the sound an audible boost of energy just when it sounded like a song was slowing down. It’ll be interesting to see how Tentacle Boy develops technically the more their music matures both in a live setting as well as in studio. After their debut show, it should be safe to say that they are creating a name for themselves in terms of live performance.

Keep checking their Myspace page for more upcoming dates.

MySpace page

(Tara Rogan)

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