Moonface & Siinai @ The Soup Kitchen, Manchester 28/05/2012
By: Rob Gannon
Though Moonface and Finnish 4-piece Siinai (see-nigh) are ostensibly collaborating on internationally equal terms there’s no question as to who everyone’s eyes are on tonight. Moonface is Spencer Krug and he duly paces back and forth tambourine in hand amid miles of mic lead, claiming the stage as his own despite an intense drumming performance to his rear. Truth be told, this endeavour could well have been recorded under Krug’s real name, though Siinai more than deserve their shoulder-to-shoulder status – something that becomes more and more apparent as they and Krug work their way through the recently released LP.
Comfortable flexing out a variety of jams ranging from space-rock to psyche to drone to almost-pop the monolithic drumming turn is a real standout framing amongst others the solemn set-closer “Headed For The Door” impressively. The band is loud and proud throughout, no more so than with their sirens and heavy reverb on the striking “I’m Not The Phoenix Yet”.
Krug wasn’t just drafted in for vocal duty however and his skill with hooks is put to use on the bubbling electronic offering “Faraway Lightning” – a track which latterly devolves into a screeching march replete with organ that together bring to mind some animate Wurlitzer’s cosmic funeral. And then of course there’s the album highlight “Lay Your Cheek On Down” on which Krug turns in a near operatic vocal as the Siinai band cruise on epic fuzz and enough shoegazing post-rock to soundtrack never-ending time-lapse footage of worlds colliding. The doomed drumming serves only confirms this mental imagery, each beat acting as an impact while Krug closes the maelstrom with a reading of the bohemian poet Rilke.
The Moonface and Siinai live show is suffocating, fascinating stuff that renders individual genre boxes and linear description almost useless. Luckily tonight the music speaks however, leaving its mark where words are insufficient.
With Siinai: Heartbreaking Bravery is out now on Jagjaguwar.