A hotbed in independent music typically bludgeons genres into newfangled creative molds. And such with all hotbeds, eventually the critical public will lose interest and move on after sapping it to the core. Well, Subterranean on Thursday reaffirmed that, even after Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade erupted more than Eyjafallajokull, Quebec is still pumping out fissures of post-rock hotness. To boot, so too is Los Angeles.
For a Thursday night, Subterranean wasn't all that packed, yet neither was the Six Corners. Regardless Montreal's Parlovr, a post rock three-piece, were surprising at blending precision with relaxation. Their electronic-driven dance rock made the crowd jangle like keys between shared vocal duties from Alex Cooper and Louis Jackson. I heard comparisons to Wolf Parade, yet I failed to see it as whatever comparison is overrun by their boundless energy and frenetic guitar. Capped with bringing the concert into the people, Parlovr's a group that intends to pull you into their brand of fun regardless of any predisposition-just cause they love it so.
Now when someone pulls out a shiny metallic case, depending on if you watch 24 you may or may not have an idea of what's contained. If you haven't heard of El Ten Eleven, a board of over a dozen pedals and loops were far from anticipated. The Los Angeles duo employs crafty, clever production tools and electronic drums to construct layered post-rock akin to Ratatat mixed with a pure instrumental Girl Talk. Each layer lasted only thirty seconds until another was added or removed. Merely listening does the two no justice compared to the elaborate concoctions on stage. The guitarwork was incredible and ran the gamut; hammer ons, pull offs, harmonics, drumsticks on strings and a violin bow for good measure. Oh, and Kristian Dunn played guitar and bass lines-simultaneously.
Enrobed and hidden by bandanas, Montreal indie rock reclaimed Subterranean with We Are Wolves. The enigmatic trio took the stage, presenting their electronic pulsations infused with the intense urgency of former tourmates The (International) Noise Conspiracy. The robes and winter jackets juxtaposed Alexander Ortiz's straightforward surging bass and Antonin Marquis' primal drumming. The combination of in-your-face post-punk and exuberant vocals shattered the serenity left over by El Ten Eleven with the synth of "Fight & Kiss." Alexander Ortiz's voice conjures a determined, relentless Ozzy Osbourne if you can believe it, holding that dire ferocity not foretelling gloom, but nearly a warning just before the storm. "Blue" gave hints of The Bravery mixed with Death From Above 1979, one of the few breathers in an ardent set. Rounding out the evening game in relievers, "Magique" and "La Rue Oblique," two French finales with the former's voracious keys contrasting the latter's subtle psychedelic drifts.
Subterranean's music to guitar solo ratio may have been the lowest in the city Thursday evening; Parlovr coming the closest. Yet the variety from the creative pedal masters of El Ten Eleven to the mystifying, impenetrable sheer cliff of We Are Wolves' dance rock provided the fortunate few the best way to kick off the start of a weekend.