When: Wed., July 8, 9 p.m. 2015
TONSTARTSSBANDHT | WED, JULY 8
LOCAL 506, CHAPEL HILL—Given the deluge of material that preceded last year's Overseas, it's a wonder that Tonstartssbandht (pronounced TAHN-starts-bandit) have yet to follow up that epic, majestic record. Since 2008, the duo of Florida brothers Edwin and Andy White have released more than a dozen recordings—mostly short cassettes—and many more in solo guises.
If their prolific output doesn't suggest a restless muse, Overseas certainly does. Recorded piecemeal during a 2013 European tour, the album forms a patchwork from live takes captured in Berlin, Newcastle, Warsaw and Paris. The approach matches the product; Tonstartssbandht's music is a versatile neo-psych mutant, captured here in its natural, live habitat. "Susie Medley" kicks off with a driving krautrock groove that swings into blues-rock choogle. It rolls from a pair of Tonstartssbandht originals into a swirling cover of "May The Circle Be Unbroken (By and By)." This is a band that moves effortlessly from throbbing proto-metal to airy psych-pop, from cloudy, propulsive textural airs to raw-power garage rock. They'd be at home on experimental imprint Three Lobed and garage syndicate Captured Tracks.
Edwin's drumming is dynamic and communicative, while his vocals reveal past experiments with choral music. Andy's guitar summons dense distortion at some moments and depends on crisp, clear tones at others. Their easy chemistry is a marvel. Whether a product of "tour-tight" practice or sibling ESP, it turns Overseas into a masterclass in playing in the pocket. Every riff is locked. Every harmony is close. That synchronicity makes Overseas an easy listen despite its hour-plus length. But space out too far, and you'll miss the flow from the Tonstartssbandht original "Hymn Our Garden" into Steppenwolf's "The Pusher."
Yes, it's out of character for Tonstarssbandht to spend a full year between releases, but Overseas is a trip that leaves plenty to unpack. With Steve Jr. 9 p.m., $7, 506 W. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, 919-942-5506, www.local506.com. —Bryan C. Reed