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flag Australia - Full Moon 109 - 08/19/05

Because of Ghosts + One Hundred Years + Lion's Light
Rob Roy, Melbourne, AUS, 13.8.05

I've seen Because of Ghosts a good few times since I've been in Melbourne, and they've got something about them that keeps me coming back for more. This time around it was the promise of some new songs that they've been working on for their debut album, and having One Hundred Years on the bill, whose Lindenow EP from last year piqued my interest.

But first up were duo Lion's Light, whose edgy combination of frantic, crashing drum patterns, needling organ and sing-song vocals was surprisingly compelling. Out of such simple elements they created a catchy din that squirmed and splashed and then fizzled out. They reminded me a little of a stripped-back Clinic, or an edgy, minimalist Stereolab. The drummer looked like he was having a great time, and I too enjoyed their short, intense set.

One Hundred Years have an autumnal sound that relies on subtle and satisfying shifts in dynamic to convey its power. Guitar, bass, drums, violin and occasional vocals interact gently and easily to create a wistful, pensive mood that periodically sparks into something more bristly and vicious. Vocalist Kelsey has a slowburning voice that suits the music perfectly, and her violin playing electrifies the music. One Hundred Years are definitely a band to watch.

As are Because of Ghosts, but on this particular night problems with equipment and a slightly ambivalent attitude to their set meant that the music wasn't nearly as moving as I'd hope. The trio began almost every song with a series of fidgety loops, out of which their slow country-esque chord changes and nuanced drum patterns would emerge, bleary eyed and yearning. There's a wonderful feel to their playing, and it's an undeniably winning formula, but I've got a feeling I've yet to see the best of the Ghosts. Perhaps when they return to the Corner later in the month they'll be a more thrilling prospect.

Copyright © 2005 Tim Clarke e-mail address

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