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44th Sunset/The Shops/She Leaves The Mountain
Astor Lounge
Sunday, December 21, 2014


A unique band that has been on the scene for several years now, True Science have only played a handful of live gigs, preferring to focus on writing, recording and developing their sound, while working with some top shelf producers of international repute. They in fact recently returned from LA where they went to workshop and record new material.

Local doom blues duo She Leaves The Mountain got the night off to an impressive start. End Of Fashion guitarist Rodney Aravena’s new project sees him accompanied by the powerhouse vocals of pint sized singer Dimity. Keep an eye out for these guys.

The Shops followed up and took things in a more lo-fi indie direction, playing a delightfully shambolic, yet tight set of laidback rock, with melodic guitar and the gruff vocals of Sean Gorman, underpinned by a tight rhythm section. The boys have some serious chops and had a good time playing, Gorman’s jittery stage presence is a cross between Elvis Costello and Ian Curtis.

44th Sunset are a new young band destined for big things. Recently signed to Little Bigman Records (who also signed The Panics) the band are immediately striking with their bold style, angular guitar playing and snappy electronic beats and bass, and they impressed the crowd with their “moody bangers.” Normally a four piece, they were performing in duo mode tonight with dynamic frontman Nik Thompson on guitar while triggering beats and bass on an MPC. With his deep, brooding vocals, tall, skinny frame, mop of hair and nonchalant attitude, he recalls acts like Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines, Bloc Party and The Creases. Joined by Jack Hall on guitar, they moved from delicate picking to reverb-drenched riffery. With their exciting, pop-edged, original style, and an album coming, you’ll be hearing more about 44th Sunset.

But the stars of the night were True Science; it was a special one for them and they had a few surprises in store for their fans. As keyboardist, guitarist and songwriter Harvey Rae kicked off the music, he was joined onstage by his songwriting and life partner, Vive Oldham, who was dressed in an amazing flowing outfit, complete with cape, as well as backing vocalist Bethany Chismark.

Previous single The Beast demonstrated the gorgeous harmonies between the two girls, while featured single My Heart Is True sounded great, starting off minimally with Oldham’s emotive vocals over a simple loop, before the beat kicked in hard towards the end, building to an explosive climax.

Amongst the diversity of True Science’s material, the thing that stands out is the outstanding songwriting. Each track has been finely honed, taking the simplistic core of song and fleshing it out into a grander vision – the work of accomplished writers and producers.

There was a great vibe in the intimate room all night, one of camaraderie between all the bands and audience who were truly enjoying the performances, and for the grand finale, Old Coast Skyrail Track, the band got a bunch of friends and members from the other bands up on stage for a big sing-a-long to belt out the final chorus. A fitting way to end a great night of local music.







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