1078 Gallery, 2/21/14
"Starting things off was French Reform. The local five piece indie-rockers blend upbeat riffs, instrumental changeups, and rockin’ beats into a concoction that’s 100 percent danceable. Each song got the crowd going and ready for more. Multi-synth interludes painted vivid backdrops, which the band then built off of. From this foundation, vocalist Aric Jefferies soared over the crowd with a style that combined everything you loved about The Cure and Joy Division, without all of the built up angst. Almost like if goth rock was super happy and fun. Their twitchy stage presence and pop n’ roll style colored the stage like the colored lights flashing along with their set. The airy tracks blended well with the 70’s-throwback-style oil slide visuals projected on a screen behind them. It was a perfect match to the music—upbeat, happy, and joyously colorful sounds.
Next, The LoLos began setting up before an eagerly awaiting crowd, who were not disappointed. They started their set with the opening track from their new album XOXO, “Nightbird”—a light and funky song which teased the audience, getting them ready for more. The first few songs were mellow grooves, enhanced with soulful vocals from Matt Heyden, and tasty guitar licks from Ben Colbeck. Newest member, Tom Nasr laid down poppin’ bass lines, all of which came together over solid drumming by Kenzie Warner, who filled every inch of space with intricate beats. The precision of it all reflected the time and dedication The LoLos have put into their music. Heyden said on stage, amidst his witty stage banter, that many of these songs were written before their last album The Maiden EP was released, and have been brewing ever since. It showed in their spot-on performance.
XOXO is similar to their previous EP, in the sense that the selection of songs on each recording showcase the band’s stylistic range. While nothing seems out of place, each song has its own distinct feel, spanning from lighter and happier fun-time tunes, to “the dark and dirty sides of love,” as the band puts it. The LoLos have an interesting way of making sadness sound fun. Almost makes ya want to get your heart broken. The minor melodies and heavy soul are poignantly juxtaposed with upbeat choppy funk riffs. And just when the crowd was grooving along with the songs, they mixed it up again, bringing it down for “Nothing Changes”—a downtempo, sway back and forth track lead by Heyden’s chorus of “Nothing changes but the weather…” But the mood only lasted long enough for you to catch your breath. The middle of XOXO picks back up with choppy rocksteady beats, and, as Colbeck put it, “Psycho-Warrior Jazzy-SchizoPhunk.”
From beginning to end, the live performance of XOXO was a journey through the entire spectrum of chill. The LoLos even busted out some old crowd favorites, and new, yet-to-be-recorded teasers which left the crowd reeling. Even after three encore songs, everyone still screamed for more.
And hopefully soon enough, The LoLos will deliver once again."