PHOTO BY LEIA JOSPE
The New York based eight-bit rock quartet Anamanaguchi, which draws influences from The Beach Boys and Weezer, boasts on their website that they “make loud, fast music from a hacked Nintendo Entertainment System from 1985.” Which, for the band—who are barely old enough to drink in the venues where they perform, is a relic of the past.
The simple words “loud and fast” conjure Anamanaguchi’s sound better than the geeky phrase “a hacked NES from 1985.” This isn’t another inaccessible, cultish niche band: this band rocks the f**k out with triumphant pop like Ratatat. Except I am willing to bet no one is head-banging at Ratatat shows. At the Knitting Factory on Monday night, the head-bangers in the crowd knew every chord the band played before they played it.
Although the band’s trademark is based on eight-bit sound waves from Game Boys and Nintendos from the eighties, they keep the performance raw and organic with two guitars, bass, and drums.
They kept it simple that night: the dark humor and sadistic insults the band members exchanged between songs were quite amusing and were overwhelmed entirely by the hyper-energized, sweaty, ecstatic rock-and-roll they dished out after.
The five-piece New York- based indie-pop headliners Fang Island took the stage next.
Formed at the Rhode Island School of Design, the print-making majors abandoned all hope of gainful employment when they brought their band to The Big Apple after graduation.
The band put out an independently-released album in 2007, entitled Day of the Great Leap and an EP in 2008 called Sky Gardens. Their full-length self-titled record which came out in February, has earned them significant attention in the indie-rock community.
The band, who got their influences from nineties distortion rock and their name from an Onion article about Donald Rumsfeld’s secret island fortress, make music that they describe as “everyone high-fiving everyone.” With no fewer than four frontmen/vocalists (who formed a strong semi-circle at the head of the stage), Fang Island’s addictive harmonies provoked not only high-fiving, but a semi-violent mosh pit as well.
Maybe it was guitarist Jason Bartell’s oversized velvet hood (which made him look like some kind of wizard-gangster) that inspired the mosh pit. But with no bloody noses or teeth on the ground, the band’s unofficial philosophy of “all encompassing positivity” survived intact.
You don’t want to miss either of these bands on tour! Check the tour dates below!
Fang Island Upcoming Tour Dates
April 11, 2010 Rock and Roll Hotel, Washington, DC
April 13, 2010 Maxwell’s, Hoboken, NJ
April 15, 2010 The Middle East, Cambridge, MA
April 16, 2010 La Sala Rossa, Montreal, Quebec
April 17, 2010 The Garrison Toronto, Ontario
Anamanaguchi Upcoming Tour Dates
April 10, 2010 PiLam Human BBQ, Philadelphia, PA
April 17, 2010 Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT
April 27,2010 Death By Audio, Brooklyn, NY
April 29, 2010 Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
May 1, 2010 Brooklyn Bowl, Brooklyn, NY
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– Hunter Stuart