Xylos – Mercury Lounge – December 7, 2012
At Mercury Lounge on Friday night, all four bands that played the late show easily possessed the qualifications to headline. First up was I Am Lightyear, the electro-pop project from gifted songwriter and performer Lauren Zettler. Each piece of the musical puzzle fit together perfectly for Lightyear, with not one note misplaced, one instrument too powerful in the mix or one flourish too overpowering. Their light-as-a-feather approach kicked off the night perfectly as a sonic palette cleanser. Next came Modern Rivals, the bubbly five-piece whose harmonious, pop-infused jams heavily impress on their debut EP, Sea Legs. Somehow, the group found a way to recreate the enveloping lushness on that record. Lead singer and guitarist Erick Lee voice shone especially brightly for the group.
Cultfever followed immediately afterward and played a tight set with choice selections from their outstanding self-titled debut full-length and a killer new song, “Animals,” off their forthcoming EP of the same name. Singer and keyboardist Tamara Jafar proved completely captivating, guitarist Joe Durniak shredded throughout the set and provided some tasty blues licks, and drummer Shiori Takenoshita held down the groove with intensely focused energy. Finally, to close the night, headliner Xylos ran off a set of their signature dance pop. The audience grooved to the up-tempo tunes while lead singer Monika Heidemann gave us a good reason to shake our booties. —Alex Kapelman