In support of their first full-length Slip Away released last month, the foursome of Total Slacker opened an eclectic bill that also featured NYC brethren Bear Hands and Miniature Tigers. And much like early Bleach-era Nirvana, TS's live set is drenched in feedback and fuzz, almost to the point of tedium.
Total Slacker is a colorful cast of characters, almost cartoon like in their style and appearance, but they have really catchy songs with smart hooks, like current single "Keep The Ships at Bay." But on this night, the intelligence was drowned out in a bad board mix and just as the lyrics were lost in the mix of swirling guitars and feedback, so was the audience. The set seemed to drag on a bit thanks to meandering solos and feedback experiments, which killed any hopes of a dynamic set.
After what seemed like an hour long stage change over, Bear Hands hit the stage and put on a clinic of danceable math rock tunes that got the crowd back on its game. And the lucky few who stayed late (on a school night no less), were treated to a brilliant, intimate set by Miniature Tigers. The headliners were able to overcome the inconsistent sound and put on an extraordinarily entertaining set, highlighted by singer Charlie Brand jumping into the crowd for a sweet, yet still fist-pumping version of "Cleopatra."