Caribou @ The Deaf Institute. 19apr10.
Manchester Deaf Institute. 19apr10.
Easy comparisons do not flow as easily towards Caribou as gripping rhythms do from them, which is probably how they would want it.
When I say ‘they’, I guess one has to mean ‘he’ as Dan Snaith is as much the recorded ‘Caribou’ as a caribou is a French-Canadian’s reindeer. Not that it was always thus, as Snaith previously worked under the name Manitoba until Richard Manitoba of The Dictators sent round some geezers. Geezers with law degrees anyway. Is that a court subpoena? No, it’s just the way his trousers hang, and so on.
In the live environment, Snaith works with Ryan Smith, Brad Weber, and John Schmersal, and they create a big sound for Caribou, bigger than would be within credible reach of one man. Certainly tunes from the latest Caribou LP Swim are given a little more grit. If it sounds a little submerged on the record, it bursts through the waves like an angry whale when put in these eight capable hands.
Certainly when Snaith joins Weber for a double-drum set assault, the whole Caribou experience ratchets up a notch or two, as well as when Ryan Smith’s guitar is occasionally given license to squall.
While the pinning motifs are the warp and bubble of programmed electronics, and Snaith’s forlorn howl (the plaintive wail over Kaila’s pulsing deviations being a particularly fine example), let nobody say that Caribou have not got a captivating rock band show in them, nor that they don’t have bona-fide pop songs. Cos, they have, and they do (see Odessa, particularly).
In places you could say what they do is a kind of a cool, dry, Tefal-egg-head kinda funk, all gathered up betwixt beat friendly soundscapes, or you could say they hold their ear to a glass to a wall on the other side of which Magma-style space-prog occasionally plays.
Too much shoe-horning doesn’t do anyone any good though, so let’s just say Caribou give good live show.
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