This is by no means a slight to Chris Powell, who expertly steered Death Becomes Even the Maiden from its 2005 inception through 2010, when he left to focus on leading The Fishing Journal. His primal poundings proved a great complement and provided heft to Heyward Sims’ technically precise guitar lines, leaving ample room for Eric Greenwood to lay waste with his distorted basslines. But Powell’s replacement, Logan Goldstein, is a strikingly different skinsman, more precise and more technical; his nicotine-fit influence was so pronounced that the band changed its name.
Parlour Tricks is a savvier animal than the Maiden was, augmenting its double-barrel aggression with a dance-rooted rhythmic lilt and a keener sense of nuance. Nothing comes remotely close to the vicious, throat-shredding intensity of the climax of “The Only Thing I Feel for You is the Recoil,” with Greenwood tempering his shrieks for a wry Anglophilic snarl. But the crisp guitar-bass interplay that marked the Maiden remains. Sims bounces off Greenwood’s massive bassline on “Cathedral,” opting for stop-start squeals and palm-muted staccato picking. When Sims gets agile, as on the driving “Neon Lights,” Greenwood backs off; when Sims opts for simplicity, as on “Radio Out,” Greenwood hooks ears with a powerful descending melody.
Goldstein’s drumming is propulsive and balletic, but his influence can most be observed in Medals’ richly detailed arrangements. Auxiliary percussion dots the post-chorus thrashings in “Radio Out.” Toy piano tinklings flit around Sims’ staccato guitar riff in “Atomic Age.” The white space in the spartan “Eleven” is filled with glockenspiels and plinky electronic sequences. It’s a fine pairing of clever and feral elements, and it finds Parlour Tricks in fine form.
But the band has been silent for years. Its last performance came in late 2012; at present, no live dates are scheduled. Sims has put much of his focus into his sleek robo-rock project Devereaux. Goldstein has holed himself up to hone material for his skewed pop outfit Pandercakes. If this is both Parlour Tricks’ debut and swan song, it’s a satisfying, if bittersweet, reward.
Now Hiring in the Vista!
Hickory Tavern is opening mid-December and looking for bartenders, servers, hosts and kitchen staff. Apply in person: Click for details!
A Re-Imagined Christmas Carol at Trustus
Watch as five actors perform all the characters of Charles Dickens’ classic story and create a live musical score in a production that had audiences and critics raving last year. Get your tickets here!
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
This Week @ Social
Edward Shouse performs Friday the 21st, and on Saturday Absolut Vodka presents A Night in Sweden, with specialty Absolut drinks and live music by Christian Slick. Follow us!
Surreal Innovation Salon Now Open
Columbia’s newest total care spa is now taking appointments and offering $10 off services $25 or more for first time clients. Location, hours, and more info here.
Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season: