Live Review: High Dials w/Oblisk and Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor. Friday, Jan. 14 at the Magic Stick Lounge

Jan 15, 2011 at 3:26 pm
Montreal’s road-wearied alt-rockers the High Dials dropped by the Magic Stick Lounge last night, their first gig in Detroit since 2006. Supporting them were two of Detroit’s own psyche acts, Sisters of Sunshine Vapor and Oblisk. In an event they dubbed the “Psychedelic Supper,"  alongside the wild sounds were a plethora of free Indian food (painstakingly provided by guys from Sisters).

Oblisk hit the stage first and eased through a set of slow-pulse neo-shoegaze. Reverberated guitar tones hung about the stage and room, occasionally cut up by echo. Vocalist Asim Akhtar moaned out a chorus of digitally effected croons while dollops of swooshing synth gave it all a nearly trip-hop feel. Their album Weather Patterns is available online via Candy Colored Dragon. The band says they’re recording a new album set for (tentative) summer release date.

For reasons unexplained, the headlining High Dials cued up second. Now, if you're a fan of alternative whatever and you haven’t had a chance to see the Dials, let this be a reminder lest you miss one the better bands around today. The Canadian quintet enthusiastically ripped through a set spanning their 7-year career. Some songs had shades of '70s power pop, some with glimpses of modern indie, but each track was a pop mini-symphony (to God!) anchored by the band’s keen sense of the art of the chorus. See them next time they hit Detroit.

Last up Friday were Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor. It’s hard to put a finger on this Detroit trio. Occupying a space somewhere between late '70s Pink Floyd and Doors’ death march “The End” (under the stage’s low lighting, vocalist and guitarist Sean Morrow even cuts a Lizard King-like figure), they cull froth this grinding, ominous, tension-filled dark psyche.

Theirs were closer to movements than to songs as each built upon itself slowly until the sound collapsed into chaos -- this wild jubilee of seething noise. Psychedelic supper indeed.