Murder By Death, Bars of Gold, Flatfoot, The Fencemen @ The Loft 4/13/12 (Review

The Fencemen –> http://thefencemenband.com/
Flatfoot –> http://www.flatfootmusic.com/
Bars of Gold –> https://www.facebook.com/BARSOFGOLD
Murder By Death –> http://murderbydeath.com/news.php
Capital City Film Festival –> http://capitalcityfilmfest.com/

Lansing’s The Loft received a good turnout for their Capital City Film Festival on Friday the 13th with Murder By Death, Bars of Gold, Flatfoot and The Fencemen. Any band that is playing a show with Murder By Death is worth learning more about. After hearing them praised by the other bands and listening to their song, “Knives,” opening locals, The Fencemen, deserve our attention. Their sound and style is comparable to Spoon, but The Fencemen hold their own and have a down to earth vibe. Check out their new full length album coming out in June!

Flatfoot is another local band worth scoping out. They’re a country band fused with rock. Add a little fire and you’re listening to complimenting bass lines, heartfelt guitars, and a well accented keyboard with spirited drums that produce a Johnny Cash style at times. Add a harmonica, trumpet and lap steel and you’re listening to the kind of music you’d want to hear from a contemporary country oriented band. “Hyena” was like a 50s throw-back at a square dance, “Dirt Shirt” was a little experimental with beautifully harmonized vocals and a rich trumpet that had a comparable Larry And His Flask feel to it, and “Archangel” was a sweet rock build-up that gave off the impression of a train.

Bars of Gold played a wonderfully intense and energetic seven song show. Traveling from Ferndale, their indie-metal-hardcore feel was refreshing to listen to through battering drums, fierce strings and a gruff voice that seemingly danced while yelling. Their lead singer literally started the set in the crowd, immediately hyping up the atmosphere while the other band members were in constant motion. They gave themselves to the music with songs like, “Up;” pulsating tension that continuously grew and got steadily faster. “Birds” had a rolling westbound feel to it with metalish leads and correlating off-beats that seemed to want to burst like a dam. “Blue” was like listening to a resurrection-low notes that drew you in and a keyboard that was the prelude for the upcoming frenzy. Bars of Gold’s spirit was infectious and their shows should not be missed.

Murder By Death is an indie-americana-rock band from Bloomington, IN. These storytellers will leave you spellbound with their singing about Scratch, whiskey, longing, the trials and evils of man, dark love, wandering and jail breakouts seemingly set in different eras before the 50s. Their music is creative, suspenseful, ironically optimistic and skillfully expressed. They played “Foxglove” and “Fuego!”—the strings of the cello and guitar seeking and trembling with anticipation. The drums pounded with pent up frustration, while the strings bantered with each other and provided dark undertones of obsession. “Sometimes the Line Walks You” had a great drive, polished trumpet and a solid vocal range that had the crowd shouting and clapping along. Murder By Death cleverly transitioned this song into Golden Earring’s “Radar of Love” and back again. From their sixth upcoming album they shared, “I Came Around”—a song about “going to a wake for a person you didn’t like and realizing that [that wasn’t a nice thought].” It follows the style of their last album, “Good Morning, Magpie” with soft tones and dark humor. At a Murder By Death show, the room around the stage becomes non-existent, the crowd belts out every word and the music takes over until one becomes apart of it. Even after they played twenty songs, mini encore included, the crowd still wanted more.

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