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MusicUnderFire | April 17, 2014

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Show Review: Is and Of The @ The Fire 8/10/11

Show Review: Is and Of The @ The Fire 8/10/11

| On 12, Aug 2011

Is and of The played at The Fire in Philadelphia this past Wednesday night.  Correction, they didn’t just play- they exploded the venue (which wasn’t that large) with electrifying, hair-shaking sound.  The group’s heavily instrumental music runs the gamut in terms of style and mood- from abrasive art rock to almost meditative psychedelia.  Having recently signed to Mush Records, the quartet, initially created by Drew Bandos, is getting ready to release their first album, Heads Phased for Dreamless Sleep.

Bandos started off the set with freely-formed clacking on a single floor tom, head already nodding, getting lost in the energy of the song before the sticks even made contact with the drum.  The passionate jamming, swaying, and interaction between the players was contagious, uniting  the musicians with the audience members in a whirlwind of  repetitive yet dynamic rock.

“Are You the Ghost Bill Murray”, one of the gems of the set, was very twangy and arpeggio-oriented.  The song morphed from one style to the next, instrumentals and vocals coming together to form vivid colors of sound.  “Skydiving from Swings” proved to be another outstanding piece in the line-up, each player a part in the whole of the mash-up of sounds that somehow converged to form an articulate musical thought.  The song had that instant head-rock-ability.

Like all music, regardless of style, Is and of The captured feelings at the core of their songs, they painted an incendiary tableau of reflections, philosophies, contradictions, fears… visceral emotions best underscored through honest and creatively-composed music.  Heads Phased for Dreamless Sleep could not be a more fitting title for the essence of the group’s outrageously tortuous, shape-shifting songs.  Every piece they played the other night would not stand a chance unless performed and listened to LOUD.

Skydiving from Swings

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