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Music

Under Byen Post Rock Sala Rosa

Posted by Jer / March 8, 2007

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Overheard as I wait for Under Byen to take the stage
"This is gonna be awesome."
"I know. Have you even heard them?"
"No."
"Me neither. But I've seen them and they look awesome."
"I think they're from Danemark."
"I love it. Danemark. This is gonna be awesome."

This conversation snippet may sum up what most people were thinking heading into last night's Under Byen show at Sala Rosa. Purist hipsters have probably been following the band since their buzz-inducing set before Joanna Newsome at Pop Montreal, but by and large, the band is still relatively unknown here. But, as for the above observers, unknown and different is a recipe for awesome and Under Byen (pronounced onah-boon) didn't disappoint.

They started their set with a chilling three minute saw solo and things only got more interesting from there. The Danish octet had about half as many band members as instruments, most of which were fed through delay or distortion pedals. My favourite was what I'll refer to as the Bjork mic, on account of its tendency to make the singer automatically sound like the Icelandic songstress in "Hunter", but the cello, violin, and xylophone also deserve credit.

How to describe the thick layers of sound that Under Byen makes? Critics call it post-rock, a term laughable for its complete vagueness, but one that has been used to describe bands like Mogwai, Godspeed! and Explosions in the Sky. Under Byen certainly conjures the same kind of cinematic and visual music as other post-rockers, but the label is an injustice since Under Byen's orchestral sound seems more pre-something than post-anything.

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There are times when the band veers too close to sounding like Sigur Ros, but maybe this is an overly easy/naive comparison since they are both bands who sing in words I can't understand. Under Byen after all sounds angrier than Sigur Ros, with many songs featuring heavy distortion, dissonant sounds, and minor chords. The angriness suits them though, the highlight of the show being the last song before the encore which unraveled from a tightly structured soundscape into controlled chaos. The audience was left blanketed in a giant fuzz of distortion and strobe lights.

I can only assume the band played most of its tracks from their latest album Samme Stof Som Stof. Sadly, after buying two beers I was two bucks short of affording the CD. Luckily, the band is kind to downloaders on both their site and their myspace page. You now have little excuse to check them out.

Discussion

8 Comments

Huzeimq / October 12, 2007 at 02:24 pm
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Elena / February 4, 2015 at 06:05 am
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Oh, and me & my insecurities are back to say no perrsuse' and maybe it's crazy to assume you WANT to meet me'. haha. Just thought, well you know, if you were looking to get out tomorrow!!
golu dolls / March 16, 2019 at 01:03 am
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nice post
Kanchipuram sarees / March 16, 2019 at 01:04 am
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nice post
Kanchipuram sarees / March 16, 2019 at 01:04 am
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nice post
Herbal Powder / March 16, 2019 at 01:05 am
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nice post

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