Extra Life, Trunk Space, 7/10/12
Extra Life, James Fella, Death House, Barren Nieces
Tuesday, July 10
Few bands can pull off genre-bending and blending without sounding contrived, but New York based group Extra Life does it easily with virtuosic precision and genuine finesse.
In support of a new album entitled Dream Seeds, released in April, Extra Life rolled through Trunk Space on an otherwise quiet weekday night during the first week of a nation-wide set of shows following a recent European tour, headlining a mixed-bag show with an equally varied set ranging from heavy prog-rock soaked syncopations to fragile yet substantial ballads.
The show kicked off shortly after 8 with a performance from James Fella. Standing above a small round table of daisy-chained pedals, the artist proceeded to conjure a series of swells that slowly permeated the room from a set of medium-sized combo amps.
The room sounds generated from the electronic reverberations initially stayed within contained volumes, just barely peeking out from under a blanket of drone. Eventually, the calm of the storm let loose to a constantly oscillating momentum until whirring frequencies broke the wall of calm, concluding with the low guttural rumble of residual noise.
Drum and guitar duo Death House hit the stage at 9 p.m. sharp with mid-tempo jams, chord-filled melodies and correspondingly straightforward drum beats. Clean even chord strumming and intermittent arpeggios set the tone for passionate crooning, covering a range of delay drenched rock 'n' roll to slower, pleasantly-toned songs.
The lights were lowered as Barren Nieces started his set. Sitting upright in a chair on the ground, the solo artist informed the audience that this wasn't his normal set up -- his guitar pedals unfortunately had recently been lost. Everyone got cozy and comfortable, sacrificing the still standing of the evening so far for Indian-style seating on the floor.
Vocals run through an effects processor projected softly sung syllables through the room over an earthy guitar tone, occasionally accentuated with the assistance of a looping pedal. Words came out delicately yet deliberately over light finger picked guitar parts, casting a mellow mood over the crowd.