Viper Room - January 30, 2006
Live Review by Daniel Brody
Oliver Future of Austin, TX, played a Monday night residency at the Viper Room for the month of January, and have all the makings of a band that British magazines will call the “Next Big Thing” for a few weeks. Watching them come onstage as if walking straight out of an LL Bean catalog, the mind prepares itself for some kind of flimsy dance-rock, new wave rehash, warmed-over Strokes groove. This is true about Oliver Future up to a point. But as soon as they launched into their first song, a difference emerged: soul! Lead singer Noah Lit never mumbled or sounded coy - the man belted and crooned, unable to stay in one place. Rousing rockers like “What Heart?” could fit seamlessly on an iPod next to Franz Ferdinand, but Oliver Future also stand out from the new crop of hipster alternative bands by showing some range. “San Francisco Song” slowed things down considerably, sounding closer to mopey English bedwetter rock like Starsailor, while “Seppuku Sunday” had a harmonizing, 70s folk-rock start that gave way to soaring power chords and anguished wails for tequila.
And, seriously, how boring is the trend of bands just sort of standing there, burbling postmodern non-sequiturs, playing songs live exactly like they are on the album? It all reeks of a sort of spoiled professionalism, as if gullible indie kids will go to a show no matter how stationary a band remains; indeed, it probably encourages them to find the band that much cooler. Oliver Future bounced and wailed, and actually performed. Their subject matter revolves around the intrigue of girls and alcohol, timeless subject matter that for some reason seems taboo to a lot of bands these days. A faithful cover of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” rounded out the tight set.
Also of note were two all-female opening bands, the Ferals and Rocket. Both played mostly punk-sounding songs in the vein of early Donnas, with the girls dressed to kill and looking hot. Rocket even boasted a keytar player who could solo! Nothing radical, but it was a damn good time that made my heart go pitter-patter.
More by this writer:
Bouncing Souls - The Gold Record
Idlewild - Warnings/Promises
Mono - Live - September 24, 2005