Band Aparte, Jody And Roses At Space 15 Twenty, Friday December 2nd 2016
Bande à part may be a Jean Luc Godard movie, but Band Aparte is a LA band – originally a duo consisting of Brian Mendoza and Tara Jane – which draws its inspiration from a bleak pool of post-punk-new-wave music. They were the first ones to play at Space 15 Twenty on Friday night, an outdoor mini-mall which occasionally hosts free concerts and other events, presented by hipsters’ favorite and music loving brand, Urban Outfitters. Band Aparte had this dark sound, sometimes even creepy with a true rock spirit in mind, as frontman and singer Brian Mendoza was freaking out like a goth Elvis. There was something sexy and sensual in the way he was handling the mic, and Band Apart could have been everything you can love about a post punk band, with a black leather jacket and a sense of danger as a bonus – they threw away their cheap keyboard on the pavement at the end of their set, and Mendoza threw himself in the audience, climbing tables and doing other acrobatic. If the Cure or Depeche Mode vaguely came to my mind, other glorious comparisons from Joy Division to New Order, Echo and the Bunnymen and Nick Cave, have been made to describe their sound. Their debut album, ‘Memory on Trial’ was released on Manifesto Records early this year.
Jody was a garage band trio, two girls on guitar and bass (Van Shydner and Raychel Tubul) and a guy (Greg Shilton) on drums, with a very surfy poppy upbeat sound. They actually had a very Californian sound, coming straight from the beaches via the valley, and played catchy tunes with multi harmonies, lots of confidence and a real dynamism. While bringing darker themes here and there, they came up with enjoyable punk accelerations, which could be some real potential mosh dance parties, in the right circumstances, as last night’s temperature may have been too cold for the average Los Angeleno. Overall, Jody had a retro sound, the type of reverb surf guitar you can hear with many Burger Records’ bands, adding a grungier vibe to their sunny pop as the set progressed, while keeping a punk spirit all the time.
Roses was the last band playing at this intimate party, and despite the girlie name they were three guys with a glittering guitar dancing around central keys, synthetic beats and a bass section. With the help of Marc Steinberg’s strong and bold vocals, they started up a poppy dance party, especially during their last one ‘Quiet Time’, whereas other songs like ‘Julian March’, had this strong post punk vibe, which made me think that they could have been a poppier side of the Talking Heads or the Cure (one of them was wearing a B52’s shirt), going in new directions during the same song. Roses did bring a sort of exotic-island vibe which was over-coating darker influences all the time, sounding like post punk pop revisited by California optimism. We may have been in December, but the courtyard suddenly turned all summery, with people bouncing around like in the middle of July.