GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

October 3, 2013

Las Vegas Weekly

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A&E | NOISE ALBUMS MODERN WOMEN Annie Zaleski listens to a few ladies poised to rule pop's airwaves CHVRCHES The Bones of What You Believe AAACC Scottish band Chvrches is greater than the sum of its parts on its debut full-length. The trio's airy synth-pop sounds impeccable (if somewhat indistinct) as it takes cues from stompy goth, candy-coated techno and exuberant new wave, along with acts such as Yaz, M83 and Sleigh Bells. Thankfully, frontwoman Lauren Mayberry—an ethereal dynamo with a soaring range and canny interpretive abilities—saves the day, oozing confidence on the battle-ready "Science/ Visions," '80s radio sugarbomb "By the Throat" and the syncopated sock-hop "Lies." In fact, Bones is least compelling when she cedes the vocal spotlight to her male bandmates, as on "Under the Tide." Overall, the record is more mesmerizing than not, justifying Chvrches' hype. LORDE Pure Heroine AAABC > RESPECT THE HORDE The Bitters play Motor City Cafe for their 10th anniversary. LO C A L S C E N E STILL MAKING SWEET SOUNDS, 10 YEARS LATER Vegas prog-rockers The Bitters celebrate a decade on the scene BY MAX PLENKE would be one of those banner moments, a time to There are a lot of things that can be said reflect and kiss each knuckle, thanking luck and about The Bitters live in concert that can also good genes, possibly a diet high in Omega-3s, for be said about being ambushed by Genghis Khan's narrowly escaping early onset arthritis. But the Mongol horde. All songs are sudden and powerful, show, and the occasion, approached mathematically precise and terrificalthe way a 33rd birthday might: withly decimating, producing a reaction THE BITTERS out a helluva lot of fanfare. "We were that nestles just beneath shock. Listen 10th anniversary asked by Christy [Larson, bartender] to the end of the song "Pentepus" on show October 5, from Motor City Cafe to play for her The Bitters' 2013 album Live in Vegas. 10 p.m., free, with birthday show," guitarist Jeff Murphy You'll hear "God damn it!" and "That says. "Only after booking it did we is SICK!" picked up from somewhere Invisible State. realize the date coincided with our on the floor. Which tends to be the Motor City Cafe, 10th anniversary playing together as only remotely social-feeling element 4080 Paradise Road #8, 307-1732. thebita band." of the performance. The music is so This year alone The Bitters put out involved, so instrumental, so Rushthe full-length Live in Vegas and the like, that to engage in traditional stage Fat Dukes of F*ck split EP High 'N' Live. But to banter and theatrics would be to risk missing one celebrate sticking it out, they plan to play their of the hairpin time signature or volume changes first, self-titled album in its entirety, containing for which the band is deservedly king. songs that haven't been seen the fuzz of a moniSo you'd think celebrating 10 years of playtor since 2006. Nostalgia abounds. ing back-breaking and face-melting prog rock On her highly anticipated debut album, 16-year-old New Zealand phenom Lorde doesn't stray far from the influences and themes that made her smash "Royals" so irresistible. That's a smart move: The enjoyable Pure Heroine mashes together laid-back hip-hop, Bat for Lashes-style indie quirks and pulsating synth-pop, splashed with brittle piano ("Buzzcut Season") and dainty '60s-pop ("White Teeth Teens"). Lyrically, Heroine rings most true when Lorde writes what she knows: grappling with change and growing up ("Ribs"), feeling intimidated and apart from peers ("White Teeth Teens," who are delightfully characterized like zombies from a horror movie) and driving around boring suburbia with a crush ("400 Lux"). She's less successful—and sounds more generic—when the album heads more mainstream, as on the Katy Perry-lite "Team" and robust hip-hop "Glory and Gore." ICONA POP This Is… Icona Pop AAAAC For its first U.S.-released album, the Swedish duo Icona Pop could have penned multiple variations on massive hit "I Love It" and called it a day. To the band's credit, it doesn't; even better, This Is goes a long way to help the band avoid one-hit-wonder status. The record is a riotous celebration of debauchery, friendship and hanging on in tough times, all soundtracked by slick EDM ("Ready for the Weekend," "All Night"), booming techno ("We Got the World") and even reggae-influenced pop ("Light Me Up"). This Is goes out of its way to keep things unexpected; for example, there's a 2Pac lyrical nod on "Girlfriend" and a hushed church choir at the start of "Ready for the Weekend." It's easy to love these curveballs—and this catchy album. OCTOBER 3–9, 2013 LASVEGASWEEKLY.COM 43_Noise_2_20131003.indd 47 47 10/2/13 4:16 PM

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