From a distance, School of Seven Bells
flaunt a particular artistic elegance most young bands of their ilk can't match. Initial signs of evidence come in the perfectly manicured press photos the New York trio always seem to be the subject of; beautiful creatures with the kind of dainty porcelain features that are as easy on the eyes as they come in this business. Of course sister singers Alejandra
and Claudio Deheza
, and guitarist Benjamin Curtis
have peaked a mighty flock of ears in the know with their poignant and promising brand of electro pop, captured and propelled to stratospheric heights then by '08's Alpinisms
, and soon again on their forthcoming follow-up, Disconnect From Desire
All of which makes an invitation to a smallish gathering at the Mercury Lounge last Thursday an easy sell to someone who had never once stood before them in concert. The tail end of a two night stint on stage at the musical home on Houston, SVIIB used the opportunity to kick the tires on Disconnect
's richer and somewhat more voluptuous new set of songs. A great idea to be sure, though the setting of the Mercury provided a slight injustice to those in the room eager to hear the full scope of the band's new tunes. On record tracks such as "Babelonia", "Dust Devil", and "Windstorm" sharpen, refine, and ultimately enhance Alpinisms' already infatuating sound. Paired with lacey ballads like "ILU" and "The Wait", Disconnect
is an appealing piece of wonderful highs and lows...though here, flowing from the room's somewhat paltry pa speakers, the album's more masterful moments seemed slightly less effective.
All of which is fine...especially considering such criticism speaks to the more sophisticated sound SVIIB are nurturing with their sophomore release. Until the band play a venue with a sound system that can handle them, I suppose I'll continue admiring from afar. Such an approach has yet to fail me when it comes to SVIIB in the past. - David Pitz
Disconnect From Desire
is out via Vagrant
on July 13th.
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Pictures: School of Seven Bells at The Mercury Lounge
School of Seven Bells on Myspace