On The List :: Shout Out Louds @ MHOW [3.1.10]

This review and some fantastic images run on Bowery Presents' House List.

It seemed like the stakes were unnaturally high. The Shout Out Louds were back from the brink of dissolution, back in the city they hadn't seen in nearly three years with an audience maybe worse for wea. But, lead singer Adam Olenius has always been a dealer in pain. Only now on a sold-out Monday night, Olenius seemed aware of himself as fractured, aware of his crowd as broken and in need of pathos. Dressed in black and sporting the type of beard that says, if we are to believe The Royal Tenenbaums, "I just tanked a tennis tournament and the woman I love doesn't love me back," Olenius emerged in the flesh, entirely prepared to live or die with us.

The material off the band's latest effort, Work is darker in nature, driven at the soul of what almost killed this group in 2008. Olenius strolled out to album opener, "1999" and as locked in the past as the song's titled suggested, lost somewhere before things went black. But slowly he and his band mates found their stride, sounding explosive and pitch-perfect on "Tonight I Have To Leave It." Minutes later, the band hammered through latest single, "Fall Hard," an ode to mutualism in the face of fatality. Olenius was hardly prepared to give in, directing the band through a fuzzy, shabby-in-places rendition of "The Comeback."

The Shout Out Louds left with "Show Me Something New" and second-album b-side, "Hard Rain," prompting Olenius to say, "This is for our Mercury Lounge days." As much as the band was tied to their past, they were locked in Olenius dark and very present return. For their latest record, written in a tiny apartment, alone in Australia, it rang with appropriate measure. The lights went down, Olenius held his hands up and the audience was left with nothing but buzz and echo in the darkness.

Listen :: Shout Out Louds - "Walls"

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