Saturday, March 3, 2012

ACRN Presents: Blithe Field, Old Worlds, and Whirl / March 1 / The Smiling Skull

By: Kyle Rutherford, Staff Writer

The crowd at The Smiling Skull were chilled out, but excited for the show that was brought to them Thursday night, with a lineup of music on the weirder side, everyone seemed to be pleased.

First out was noise/electronic act Whirl, a duo that consisted of Death Beef, and Matt Umland of Tin Armor. The Columbus group held no true structure to their sound, no set list, but more of an improvisational set that lasted a good 30 minutes STRAIGHT.

The music was ambient, but had an awe-inspiring power to it, with glitched-out synths, completely layered with different effects pedals. It was one of those sets that you just have to watch the performance to experience it for yourself.

Next was Columbus's Old Worlds, an experimental mathcore/emo/post-rock group that held a tight influence from every single instrument used, even using soft, near opera-like vocals. The 5 piece consisted of a the typical guitarist/drummer/bassist trio, but added in a KORG synthesizer player, and a violinist who had almost more effects pedals than the band's guitarist. Vocally, the group's male vocalists had the kind of voice that could remind one of old Jimmy Eat World, with the female synth and bass players adding a lighter harmony to it. Instrumentally, the music seemed slightly ambient at times, with the experimental qualities of The Fall of Troy and Dance Gavin Dance. What impressed me the most instrumentally was the guitarist/vocalist kept to a finger-picking technique throughout most of the songs.

Last was Athens' own sample electronic Blithe Field. With recent hype and his April 12 release of Warm Blood coming close, and with a recent spotlight in Alternative Press, OU senior Spencer Radcliffe brought his typical A-Game, mixing many of his older tracks and even premiering a new song from the upcoming album.

One may think that the Skull would be out of Radcliffe's element when it comes to venues, but the difference in setting gave him a particular advantage, where front-row members were within arm's reach of him, giving attendees a more intimate experience.

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