This Little Underground
Published: August 22, 2012
The music of Cincinnati's Bad Veins (Aug. 14, the Social) is cute, and they're a little more convincing live. But for all their skill, earnestness and strands of promise, their scattered sound just doesn't cut very deeply.
Opener Stagnant Pools, however, were an entirely different matter. This brotherly duo kicks out rumbling, beautiful songs built on taut post-punk undercurrents and expansive cascades of shoegaze static. With seductively textured guitars, they ride the more rock side of noise-pop and are reminiscent of excellent British acts like Ride and especially the obscure but criminally unheralded Adorable. Their use of dynamics and exhilarating guitar effects gives them a notably robust sound for just a two-piece band. From stylistic signifiers like their gaping, powerful fuzz and darkly majestic melodies, it's pretty obvious these cats got taste. Their debut album (Temporary Room) – just a week old as of this performance – is a fantastic work that has all the makings of a sleeper.
Since they hail from Bloomington, Ind., it's kind of surprising they weren't swooped up by their own hometown's pacesetting indie label triad of Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar/Dead Oceans. Score one for equally esteemed Illinois label Polyvinyl, because these guys are a prize. But just as those labels missed out on Stagnant Pools, Orlando unfortunately overlooked 'em on this swing through, too. Let's hope there's a next time.
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