The Morning After Girls' heady swirl of psychedelic garage-rock and blissful shoegaze—on display this past Monday night at Solar Culture—wasn't so much about quiet-loud dynamics as it was about the more-visceral sensation of contraction and release.
Folded in were elements of drone, delicate melody and quasi-Indian trance, which cleansed the palate between sonic hurricanes.
Originally from Australia but based in New York City since 2008, the Morning After Girls consisted of five handsome, skinny young men, all of whom were attired in tight black trousers, sharp-toed shoes and varying stages of complicated facial hair. Their collective look was impressive, but not more so than the squall and seduction of their music.
These guys sounded a little as if they could easily share a bill with contemporaries such as the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club or the Brian Jonestown Massacre, but their sense of songcraft recalled the Rain Parade from the 1980s, and the occasional psych-soul grooves might've caused listeners to flash on Primal Scream from the 1990s.
Singer-guitarists Sacha Lucashenko and Martin B. Sleeman proved to be the Morning After Girls' focal point: They often traded guitar parts and usually sang together. Beyond the otherworldly guitar textures and dizzying solos, their trademark seemed to be infectious close vocal harmonies.
It was a bit of a shame that only about a dozen people were in attendance—and some of them were the members of the opening act, the Black Box Revelation.
The Belgium-based duo featured guitarist-singer Jan Paternoster and drummer Dries Van Dijck. They played the sort of music that one could imagine resulted after they'd harvested primal ooze from a Mississippi Delta bog, shot it through with electricity and a dash of psilocybin, and fed it directly into their brains. Their brand of swamp stomp was especially agile, infused with a heavy R&B rhythm here and some Stones-y caterwaul there. Van Dijck was generous with the tom-toms and cymbals, while the lanky Paternoster nonchalantly shredded like a monster in a Jimmy Page-meets-Neil Young fashion.
If you stayed home, you missed something special.