Live Review: New Madrid and What Moon Things at Caledonia Lounge, Saturday, Dec. 7

What Moon Things (photo via Facebook)

Hey, didn’t we say something about a ’90s revival the other day? If you were at the Caledonia Lounge Saturday night, you found yourself right there in the thick of some good old guitar-rock (albeit with a few slight modifications).

After brief, yet solid, sets from Triathalon and Velocirapture, What Moon Things hit the stage with their cross-pollination of My Bloody Valentine’s shoegaze-haze and Failure’s spaced-out rock. The three-piece New Paltz, NY-based outfit doesn’t yet have a proper record released (at least I can’t seem to find one), but mark my words: this band will be making waves in no time. It was a bit hard to hear the vocals over a sea of fuzzed-out guitar, but I seem to recall that there were quite a few songs about alcohol. (You’ve gotta know your audience, right?)

Truth be told, I haven’t heard a band sound that good at the Caledonia in quite a while—maybe even ever. (Has anyone else noticed the club’s newly installed wall-soundproofing tiles? Weird, right?).

What’s impressive about What Moon Things, though, is that they make sounds that would seem to require twice the number of people on stage. Sure, a lot of what the band is up to is effects trickery, but there’s certainly something to be said for a group that can turn sustain into a fourth member.

A friend of mine suggested that when there are a good number of young, attractive women in attendance at a show, a trend is about to (re)emerge. But whatever What Moon Things and New Madrid are up to, it isn’t exclusive to gender. The recent New Madrid mention over at Pitchfork might’ve had something to do with the ladies coming out in droves, but my guess is that the band is picking up steam on its own merit.

New Madrid was sure to showcase their newly minted “Manners,” from their forthcoming Normaltown Records release, Sunswimmer. It was a very good choice. I love thick reverb, but the band just seems more confident when it’s banging out riffs rather than noodling. Perhaps it’s the new-song novelty that made it the night’s highlight in my book. In any case, the band shows a lot of promise when it dials back the reverb and gets right to the rock.