I’m living a charmed fucking life. A few days after watching one of my all time favorite vocalists writhe around the stage of Mercury Lounge I got to go see what is probably my favorite active band play in the back of Tommy’s Tavern.
It’s already been well established that Vice loves Nu Sensae, but I’d like to further establish, on the record, that I love Nu Sensae. Like a lot. I love them like I love tubing in the Delaware River and plunging into said river from a sweet rope swing (you should try that, it rules, go to Frenchtown, NJ and bring two cars. Do it now before summer is over). I love them like I love peach pie (I baked two last week from scratch if you want to know my dedication to peach pie). I may even love them as much as I love my cat (and if you know anything about girls who write about music for blogs, then you’ll understand that I am no different and am certifiable when it comes to the adorable little black ball of fluff I call Little Omar Little).
Now that I feel I’ve adequately proclaimed my love for them, on to the show:
I missed the first band because I was out front shooting the shit, and also talking about shit. The big pile of it that someone stepped in in front of the venue. It fucking smelled, and seriously bummed everyone out. But Acid Problem was great next. I liked them. You know what I also liked?
This pin. Any band that makes something like this is A-OK in my book. Plus the drummer of Acid Problem is Mark Grillo. Mark has been busting his ass booking shows in New York for years. If you see him give him a hug, or at least a high-five, you probably owe at least a couple of good times to that guy.
Up next was Psychic Blood. Danny from Nu Sensae described them as “these kids from Westhampton, Mass. They rule. They all look like they are 15 but they are really 20 and 24 and play really distorted Sonic Youthy noisy rock.” He was right. They do look like they are 15.
And they do indeed rule. At the end of their set the drummer did a stage dive into the crowd off his drum kit except the crowd wasn’t that dense so he basically just jumped off and bumped into people before splaying out on the ground.
I’m really happy about the return of noise rock, especially the loud, energetic, and unpretentious reference points in proto-grunge that the younger generation of bands channel. Both Psychic Blood and Nu Sensae draw from noise rock, but both bands are also informed by punk.
The first handful of times I saw Nu Sensae they were still a two-piece consisting of Andrea Lukic and Daniel Pitout. I loved them so much then that I was nervous about the line-up expansion, but as a friend of mine pointed out, the addition of the guitar takes the strain off of Andrea’s vocals, providing a distorted melodic counterpoint that allows her to actually sing instead of belt. As a result, her growl has gotten a little less raspy, and a little less doomy, since the last time I saw them probably thanks to less strain, but it still reminds of Tam Simpson’s of the late, great Sacrilege. In fact there is a subtle thrash under-current that runs through their music. The great thing about Nu Sensae is that they are both raw and complex at the same time.
Daniel, the drummer, is pure fucking magic.
This is Brody McKnight, the newest addition to the band I was just praising. You may remember him from the first episode of Delicious with Mish. Saucy Canadians. Funny story, there were a lot of photographers snapping away with intrusive flashes, myself included, in a really small space. Halfway through the show the crowd got rowdy and everyone was knocking each other over and the guy in the striped shirt in the background of this photo yelled from the pit, “But we have to protect the cameras!” It was perfect. We’re assholes, I get it. The best way to tell us is to make us laugh in the process. Seriously.
Speaking of rowdy crowds, the girl standing next to me was having the best time ever, and it made me happy, even though her hair totally ruined my favorite shot of Andrea snarling in her rad Neil Young shirt. Ah, the difficult plight of being yet another asshole with a camera at a crowded show. Rough gig I’ve got, right?
Nu Sensae is halfway through their US tour so maybe you still have a chance to see them. Wouldn’t that be great? Check out their tour dates here.