Tuesday, September 7, 2010

La Knots at VAC

Posted By on Tue, Sep 7, 2010 at 2:32 PM

La Knots at The VAC
  • Josh Gross
  • La Knots at The VAC
There's a lot of buzz with local musicians about La Knots. And after seeing their show at the VAC I can understand why. They've nailed down that fuzzed-out sloppy MC5/Hives garage sound that nearly every rock musician started out with. It sounds like Pall Malls taste and has the capacity to evoke powerful sense memory. When musicians see La Knots they see themselves experiencing the thrill of mastering their first three chords in their parent's garage, with hints of their neighbors threatening to call the cops. It makes you wanna jump on a table, chug whiskey straight from the bottle and howl "rock and f@#$ing roll!"

But no one did. Because in addition to the gleeful sounds of inexperience, La Knots also brought the less gleeful problems. Their songs didn't travel far, sticking to the thick wall of fuzz with a four-on-the-floor foundation and experimenting little with rhythm or the spaces between sounds to give them a unique identity—though one song toward the end changed tempo several times and was easily their best for the effort.

The thing that stuck out the most about La Knots was their lack of stage presence. If you were to close your eyes and just listen, you'd expect to see someone swinging a mic stand around their head when you opened them. You'd expect the bass player to fight another member of the band and for the drummer to potentially OD on stage. But that wasn't the case at all. The bass player stood paralyzed, eyes locked on his fretboard and totally unsure of how to wield the bass strapped round his neck. The singer/guitar player seemed content to substitute the mysterious allure of bangs draping his face in place of stage presence. There was a reason the crowd stayed seated and distant from the stage. When truly rocking out, one must be prepared to do as the rhyme says and it didn't seem like La Knots was.

At least not that night.

That said, as the sound would indicate, the band is young and staring down the barrel of a future. So though they may only be terrorizing neighbors right now instead of bouncers and hotel staff, they're on their way.

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