Australia - Full Moon 117 - 04/13/06
Pivot + Because of Ghosts
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne 18.3.06
It's bizarre to see two instrumental bands on the same bill that sound so different. Because of Ghosts are all parched and monochrome, with a somber series of builds and atmospheric segues. Pivot, on the other hand, create much more colourful music, splashing melodies and ideas around the stage with verve.
Because of Ghosts' strengths lie in the nimble drumming of Jacob, and their occasionally gorgeous slow-mo, film-noir aesthetic. There's definite skill at work in the way they create a unified set of songs, all blending into one another, the guitar lines slowly and predictably taking the listener to a very serious, dramatic place. However, after about 20 minutes it does get bloody boring. A headphone band to be listened to at home? Perhaps. The animated projection of little cartoon angels slowly flying across a pink sky didn't help matters.
Pivot required no such embellishment; with these guys it's all about the music. Sharing members with jazz band Triosk, this Sydney quintet clearly have fun, expertly wielding their instruments and creating some truly jaw-dropping music, most of which can be found on their excellent Make Me Love You album. The best of these songs, the title track, "Incidental Backcloth" and "Kirsten Dunst", were rendered in exquisite detail, the crisp drum patterns and delicious guitar melodies likely to stick in your head for days on end.
I can confidently assert that about two thirds of Pivot's set blew me away. The other third tended to involve the repetition of simple ideas that didn't go anywhere interesting, the players tongues too far in their cheeks, resorting to cheesy synth tones or knowingly referencing other styles of music. Smug, I think is the word. However, brothers Laurence on drums and Richard on guitar were the ones to watch, their playing always challenging yet extremely catchy and easy on the ear.
It is clear that Pivot are capable of pulling off instrumental music of the highest quality. I'm very interested in seeing these guys play again, and looking forward to hearing more recorded material if it's anywhere near as accomplished as their debut.
Copyright © 2006 Tim Clarke