Faun and a Pan Flute, Magicicada, Guerilla Toss, Lovely Little Girls – Great Scott – June 27

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Faun and a Pan Flute (Atlanta)

High drama tension wires on brass, strings, and marimba. This has a jazzy feel, with good dynamics, and varied. Mysterious at times, with modal touches, it can leap back into symphonic band territory – just for a spell, then into the austere realm of European free, or classic fusion.

Touchstones seem many, though nothing conspicuous enough to make you think “this sounds like…” It’s kept in a good mix, with abrupt but smooth changes, and tight interplay.

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Magicicada (Atlanta)

Magicicada evokes the sounds of electrical storms rather than cicadas on a summer night. The lineup is deceptive. Guitar and cello plus singer and drums, but what you hear is a wall of noise. It’s scary and creepy. Stiff growls, intermittent and jolting, swatches of sandpaper synthesizer. Is there development? It travels like a tornado, busting up whatever structure evolves in the meantime.

Rhythms start to develop as the set progresses. They are like stuff dragged by large vehicles on the street. Then they get spacey. Wind blowing through hallways of empty mansions. Ends with a bang and a whimper.

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Guerilla Toss

G Toss has cleaned up their act. Their music is sparkling where it used to be muddy. Peter drives the band with heavy funk from his drums. Kassie is as happy as a schoolgirl on the playground, bouncing up and down when she sings. The rhythms shoot up like fireworks, brushing up again each other, pushing each other out of the way. Their songs have real melodies now, though they’re obstacle courses, like they used to be. They were always an eclectic band, with heavy no wave precedents, but their elements are purer now, and effusive.

The band’s art has always been to cover their L7 music school tracks with punk attitude, but there’s a oneness to them now. I would call them psych punk. They can push dreamy, hot colored chords out of their axes, but always with a jagged edge. They’re not students anymore.

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Lovely Little Girls (Chicago)

Contortionist , no wave style music, with dirty, funky horns, and stop start action. Energized, inspired traffic jam. They can get operatic, or wax classic musical, like West Side Story. Different dimensions at work here, say, the rolling, hard hitting drums that back the arch, theatrical singing on one song, with structured, syncopated guitar patterns. The horns border on jazz, with charcoal harmonies, but this is effect, as they support the vocals, which are central, and are more lush and even.

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