I love living in Seattle and getting to see my favorite New York City bands come through town on tour together. So I was a little disappointed when I found out that Cymbals Eat Guitars had food poisoning on the night of the Seattle show during their tour with Pains of Being Pure at Heart. Of course, POBPAH are enough to draw me out of my apartment, but without Cymbals, the show lacked energy between openers The Depreciation Guild and headliners POBPA.
About 2/3 Pains, The Depreciation Guild can be seen as Kurt Feldman’s, drummer of Pains, side project where he steps up as the front man. Christoph, the 5th, unofficial, member of Pains, plays guitar with both bands and Alex Naidus, bassist of Pains was in charge of projecting The Depreciation Guild’s art on the wall behind them—an optical illusion of shifting squares and colors. Despite this overlap in members, The Depreciation Guild has definitely carved out a unique sound from the larger framework that both these bands work within. Erring more towards an XTC/OMD 80’s feel, at times I felt like I was at a Broken Social Scene show with ¼ of the instruments.
The Depreciation Guild offered more diverse and tangible chops than Pains, but not by much, and with the breathy vocals of Kurt over their songs they can’t help falling under the shoe gaze catchall along with Pains. The Depreciation Guild is art rock, weighed down by bouts of melancholy while Pains are certainly more upbeat, sweeter and filled with an aching nostalgia.
As Pains of Being Pure at Heart ran through their set list, they seemed happy to be on stage with the crowd dancing. They played a few songs off their upcoming EP Higher Than the Stars, showing a bit more muscle in their newer tunes. Despite the newer material feeling harder hitting, overall this band could hardly swat a fly. They are all things soft and fluffy—like I said about their Capitol Hill Block Party performance, think angora bunnies. However, seeing them indoors for the first time they definitely had more of an impact with walls for their waves of sentimental songs to bounce off.
These bands offered a good balance to each other, but without Cymbals playing between their sets, the show as a whole lacked momentum. Word to the wise; don’t eat burritos in Boise.