When: Thu., Oct. 27, 9:30 p.m. 2011
I challenge you to find a review of Gauntlet Hair that doesn't cite Animal Collective as an influence. And honestly, it's pretty damn tough to listen to the Denver-by-way-of-Chicago duo's self-titled debut (released last week on Dead Oceans) without at least attempting to sniff out a trail or three that leads back to Merriweather Post Pavilion. They mine the same spacious, trippy noise-pop sound as AnCo, working unique hooks into echo-laced, hazy backdrops, but vocalist/guitarist Andy R. (ne Andy Rauworth) and drummer/trigger man Craig Nice seem to have a more straight-ahead, structured pop sensibility. The standout slow jam, "Top Bunk," works by swirling delayed guitar around a breakdown beat that leaves space for pockets of experimentation, while the vocal melodies keep things grounded where they might otherwise shoot off in misguided directions. Things get just weird enough to be interesting. (And in case you were wondering, the dumb band name is an inside joke.) —Kevin Warwick Unknown Mortal Orchestra headlines; Gauntlet Hair and Yawn open.