Serena Maneesh and The Depreciation Guild!

March 31, 2010 § 1 Comment

So Friday (yes I know, I am terribly delayed in writing about this, but my memory is apt) I went to The Media Club, a delightfully intimate venue, to see Norwegian giants Serena Maneesh headline a show supported by New York rockers, The Depreciation Guild. The opening band was local group, The Ludvico Treatment, who, unlike many pisspoor openers of my lifetime, were actually great at rousing up the crowd. It all felt very 90s and shoegazey, which is a compliment.

The setup time between sets was amazingly quick, which kept the crowd in good spirits, when The Depreciation Guild took the stage to bang out some surprisingly swell songs. My only complaint was the virtually non-existent volume on the vocals, which I know is a trademark of dreampop-inspired music, but this was a bit ridiculous. Apparently though, the band ardently insists that their music is not shoegaze. Otherwise, the songs sounded true to the recordings, full of sonically and spacially inventive guitar coming from a Jazzmaster, and live drums mixed with pre-recorded samples of electronic 8-bit sounding percussion.

With that said, Serena Maneesh was actually the bombshell of the night for me, having heard them a few years ago, they struck me as more of an industrial sounding group with perhaps reverb drenched influences, but live, they were much more in the history of rock n’ roll. They played with a hell of a a lot of gusto, colliding into the stage, my ears were washed over with delightfully shoegazey, fuzzy riffs mixed with the keyboardist’s buzzy Korg MS-20 anchoring the songs in a sort of trancey glee. If only their recordings sounded this good! By comparison, the recordings seem stale and overdetermined, lacking rawness or accidental edge. So yes, catch them on tour.

Hilma of Serena Maneesh: You may believe that there is a child in this photo, but that is actually a fully grown man. She's just really goddamn tall.

Afterwards, I met the twin brothers and singer of The Depreciation Guild, and one of them drew a lion on my copy of their album, which I tried taking a photo of but Photo Booth can’t seem to replicate the subtle contrast between the black marker and the dark blue cover. It’s a great album, by the way, Spirit Youth is not out until May 18th, full of melody, reverb, soft vocals and pulsing rhythm on purple translucent vinyl for the nerds. Buy it when you can! Incidentally, I just realized that two of the members of the trio are in another awesome New York band, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

The Depreciation Guild: I know only two them are twins, but maybe they're actually triplets.

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