Brooklyn’s beautiful bad-ass band Beverly played a one-off show at Baby’s All Right in south Williamsburg in-between finishing their sophomore LP and going on tour towards SXSW. Coming on the heels of a big buzz from their hot, heady, and hallucinogenic video for their new single “Victoria” (which was co-written by Kip Berman of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart), their packed sell-out show was a definite sign of things to come for this promising outfit. Their epic climb to pop rock heights has definitely been a rocky road, but once you see them live, it is no wonder why they are such a booming sensation.
Opening the show was a surprise for me, as it was none other Annie Hart, singer and keyboardist for Brooklyn’s synthy dream pop trio Au Revoir Simone, who were on a smash climb of their own several years back and then just went missing. Annie Hart carried forth with a rather purist solo set, performing much of it from behind a giant glass of wine perched atop an even bigger keyboard setup. With a gorgeously ethereal touch, her sound lands somewhere between Kate Bush, Ladytron, and Camera Obscura with a strong-arm taste for melody. I do believe the drummer that joined her on stage for the last couple tunes was her husband Doug Marvin of Dirty on Purpose. She actually has been quietly releasing music on her own via her SoundCloud page over the last year much to my surprise, and I look forward to hearing and seeing more from her soon.
The next act was MPHO who were an energetic troup with ear-piercing guitars, a bouncy beat, and a snthy pop veneer. The guts of their sound were largely like modern electro-disco power-pop with some deafening axe grinding melted over the amps, like DEVO meeting KMFDM. The main frontwoman Holly Overton was rather enjoyable to watch as she sprung and bounced about the stage while still somehow managing to play the slippery and synthy keys. It was a bit over-amped for my taste, especially at moments that were obviously going for the funkier directions, but the jams were obviously heavy for a reason, and it was all still an awesome romp.
WALL was third and they definitely set the stage on fire with some molten punk-driven noise rock and a wacky no wave aesthetic that lands somewhere between Sonic Youth, Lords Of Acid, Pixies, Priests, and Perfect Pussy with a twinge of rockabilly and surf rock that proves to be a fertile ground for a explicit anti-corporate sellout, anti-chauvinist pig, and anti-political fuckup messages. Despite an impressively constructed wall of sonics, it was the front-woman that once again stood far out among the hellfire raining upon our souls. Singer Sam York seemed to know all the moves to push those snappishly nervy yet boldly brash vocals out and into everyone’s eardrums. It was a great chance to get exposed to this bright young band, and even though it is kind of hard to find much of them on the internet yet, I do see they are playing many shows at present and are dropping a considerable amount of songs and videos as of recent. So, as an impressed newly exposed nerve, I look very much forward to experiencing much more of them very soon.
Beverly was clearly whom most of the packed house had come out to see, and all were rightfully ecstatic to participate in the ground-swell that is their ever-expanding success. There was a time just a couple years ago that much of the buzz about their formation surrounded singer and drummer Frankie Rose, who had been a member of pinnacle 90’s and early 00’s female vocalist-driven pop-punk combos like Crystal Stilts, Vivian Girls, and even Dum Dum Girls. Still, soon after releasing a bombidity of an album called Careers in 2012 with her good friend and near twin double Drew Citron (previously of Avan Lava) under the name Beverly, she left the Brooklyn scene she had so much of a part in helping form and sinfully moved to LA to return to being a solo artist. So, it was then on Drew Citron and her axe and percussion compadre Scott Rosenthal to prove themselves as kick-ass as their origins showed them off to be.
Sure enough, their awesomeness now seems to be truly confirmed with the first tastes of new material that they are indeed all that and a bag of rockin’ chips. They produce a pleasant yet still very loud power pop highlighted by ethereal harmonies by the truly stunning and strong figure that is Citron with something like a spiky and beachy/twangy surf rock sound paired with an angelic cathedral-echoed Spector 60’s girl group ambiance that gives me a rush to the head each time I experience them. They remind me heavily of early Breeders, Veruca Salt, or even Liz Phair, but with a uniquely fresh appeal, especially on the new material they played on Friday, where they also did manage to expand themselves even more into expansive zones of trippy pop. The new LP The Blue Swell is due out on May 6th from Kanine Records, and I, for one, can’t wait to blast it at full volume soon.
Article: Dean Keim