Saturday, October 15, 2016

Preoccupations played Warsaw


Preoccupations are currently touring behind their new self-titled record and first release under their new moniker. They stopped by Greenpoint's Warsaw for a loud show of intense post-punk glimmer.

On their new record, the band brushes off their past of angular, heavily distorted guitar in favor for slimmer, more synth driven textures. Live, the band still plays with the heavy noise of their earlier work and brings their sound full circle. Leading in with "Anxiety", the band immediately made it clear that while the new album has brought some changes, their core efforts remain firmly intact. With the volume cranked up, the band's more muscular sound and complex rhythms were made clear almost to a fault. At times, the band had a bit of trouble keeping things under control and occasionally let their songs get the best of them just before pulling everything back together. Tracks like "March of Progress" and "Continental Shelf" were clear fan favorites and saw the crowd chanting along as dizzying lights pulsated behind the group giving an extra shot of energy to the night. While their last record gave way to lots of minimal post-punk comparisons, a whole lot of This Heat, their newer material relies much heavier on shimmering synths than one might expect. Their turn of brooding tones has cascaded into distilled electronic waves, yet somehow that doesn't exactly come across live. Meaning, those who only know this band as Preoccupations were in for a surprise as the chaotic and frantic guitar work exploded onstage. Just like they did in the past, the band culminated the evening with a blown-out "Death" that seemed to last for ages. Crashing drums were relentless as the rest of the band bashed away in perfect unison, unleashing a feverish wail of pure panic. "With a sense of urgency and unease / Second guessing just about everything” bellows Matt Flegel, the baritone front man, on "Anxiety" and a better phrase couldn't be used to describe the group. As the band has evolved over time, from their precursor days in Women through Viet Cong, every new record has presented an unforeseen change to their styles without compromising their key aesthetics. Finally, as Preoccupations, everything seems to have fallen firmly into place.

Set list:

"Anxiety"
"Silhouettes"
"March of Progress"
"Select Your Drone"
"Continental Shelf"
"Memory
"Degraded"
"Monotony"
"Zodiac"
"Stimulation"
"Death"

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