On The List :: Miike Snow @ Mercury Lounge [9.15.09]

This review runs on Bowery Presents' House List Blog.

The battle between aesthetics and content is certainly not dead. As Miike Snow took the stage in white plastic masks - one part MJ-tribute, one part Vanilla Sky and one part possible bank robbery - you could be forgiven for wondering on which side of the debate they land. This display would be concerning if it weren't so cool. In the battle of Style and Substance, Miike Snow grab from each pile with equal and effortless impact.

The most profound reveal about the band isn't their navigation of competing artistic impulses, it is how loud and explosive they sounded in person. Set-list opener "Burial" silted and chimed out of a mess of knobs, loop pedals and instruments that crowded the stage. Ripping their masks off after the second song, the band's uncovered faces pounded out "Silvia," with a massive closing kick, before rolling into a punched up version of radio-single, "Animal."

"In Search Of" finished the set, a song that finds itself only inches from explosion. Seething and shuffling, the sold-out crowd moved its approval. After establishing the loops that build the song, the band members left one by one and the instruments dropped out in kind, leaving nothing behind. This un-layering was the final moment of truth. While we focused on the style, the substance was still built piece-by-meaningful-piece. And when it was gone, there was nothing left.

Listen :: Miike Snow - "Animal"
Listen :: Miike Snow - "Animal" [Fake Blood Remix]

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