Land of Talk disprove their album critiques at live show

Photo credit: LP Maurice

Cloak and Cipher finds new energy within the walls of Cabaret du Mile End

show review by Carl Perks

This article is an album review as much as it is a concert review. I would like to stress the fact that it is both because, last Thursday, as everyone else was discovering a new slice of the cinematic rendition of the Harry Potter series, the boxy spectacled hipst… eh, I meant youngsters at the Cabaret du Mile End were rediscovering the new Land of Talk album, Cloak and Cipher, under a new light.

Preceded by the ever-so-promising Calgary alternative shoe gaze band Braids, who spent more of their set bent over their effect modules than their actual live music, Land of Talk (LOT for friends) stepped onto the stage with three of the members of Suuns, a Montreal-based alternative formation, to complete a five piece band.

Being preceded by the softer paced trio Snailhouse, most of the room was looking forward to a change of pace with the upbeat indie-rock dance-hymns found on LOT’s first album Some Are Lakes.  Anyone to think otherwise had already spun Cloak and Cipher and was expecting a lower core show with ballads and pop-tubes-meets-broken social scene.

These people where wrong.

Land of Talk stayed true to their old sound when playing from their pre-Cloak and Cipher repertoire, but when playing from their most recent album, gave rebirth to the energy within could-be-pop songs such as “Goaltime Exposure,” “Cloak and Cipher” and “Swift Coin.”

Every bland instrumental was kicked in and compensated for by fat bass guitar lines and Andrew Barr’s bass drum.

As for the songs that, through earphones, sound like epic Broken Social Scene emulations (inspired by front woman Elizabeth Powell’s tour within their ranks), they were brought back down to earth and indie rock-dom by the weight of Powell’s omnipresent guitar and the stripping of the studio instruments.

Those who sighed at the sight of the keyboardist and the extra vocalist at first sight of the band rejoiced by the end of the night and called for an encore.
‘‘I was afraid they would go electronic on our ass!’’ said Julien Desjardins, second semester  CALL student at Dawson.

Cloak and Cipher scared many people as to the direction that LOT was taking, but I think for those people, on that evening, at the Cabaret du Mile End, relief was on the menu.

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