with Blues Control
Thursday, Nov 21, 2013 8:00 PM PST
Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver, BC
19 years and over
Mole City is not in the tradition or deviating from the tradition – it is the tradition. After 2 decades of launching drums, guitars and pianos through the shifting interzones between harmony and chaos (moonlighting along the way with the likes of Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag, Elliott Smith, Built to Spill and a long list of others), Quasi are a genre of their own – they write songs in the style of Quasi, and Mole City is the Quasi Song Book: Parlor Sing-alongs for the Last Century.
Now in their 20th year, Quasi hand-delivers the double album/Liberation Cookbook/Encyclopedia of Kicking Ass, Mole City, to those of us who still care about well-built, homemade objects crafted with integrity, spirit, fire, and skill. In other words, those of us who don't fit into a world where the empty noise of crass capitalism, slick branding, and high profile hot pants have drowned out nearly all other concerns. Mole City, their ninth album, is a set of anthems for the refuseniks, Molotov tossers, pacifist soldiers and bug-eyed freaks, and Quasi is the band playing as the Titanic of what was once Independent Music goes down.
Quasi would actually fit in just fine if every other band had such technical control and ability that they could express each passing thought and literally converse through their instruments, could write meaningful, memorable songs, could sing with heart and humanity, could maintain a musical relationship for nearly a quarter century, could disregard the consumer-tested research and American Idolatry, and was brave enough to strip back their production budget and advance to zero, ditch the engineers, producers and side players, and head underground into their basement alone to record and mix over an hour of new music from scratch.
And Mole City would sound like everything else out there if all the other records peeled off their absurd costume jewelry and piped pleather jumpsuits, climbed into the sweat-lodge, confessed their sins of avarice and pride, renounced all earthly possessions and ties, then kicked out the fucking jams. This is the music at an agnostic afterlife juke joint where lysergic teardrops are cried into sweating mugs of high octane hellfire, the bartender can see clear through to your every thought, fear and desire, the upright player's head is locked into a guillotine, and the guys next to you are whispering conspiratorially about how to fix their time machine. Shakin' blues, precision freak-outs, air-guitar-worthy riffs, heavy round droplets of time, fuzz everything, wah wahs, ya yas, ooh ahs, grunts, shuffle struts and chiming minor seventh chords – this is rock n roll.