It’d been a while since I’d last listened to Six Organs of Admittance but I was definitely excited to see that name pop up as a future show at Electric Owl. I got hooked on Ben Chasny’s new folk sound for a brief period of time but it had fallen out of rotation in my daily soundtrack. Turns out I’d really fallen out of the Admittance loop because the sound was not at all what I expected.
I caught some of Elisa Ambrogio’s set when I came in and I’m not sure if I just caught her on one of those days or something but the performance wasn’t great. There was a blend with Admittance for the first few songs I caught and there were some major timing issues spotting what they played making me think they hadn’t had a lot of time to get things tight-knit for the show. When Ambrogio was on her own it was all about the electric guitar and I’m really anti-solo electric, it just sounds so empty. I’ve never heard her before but that night was not the night for introductions.
So Six Organs took the stage and were missing, what I thought (at least from what I’d listened to in the past) was a major component of their sound, an acoustic guitar. As a loud rumbling set in, the three piece was starting up the first track of the set. A slow, rolling, heavy sound was distinctly different from what I was used to and then all of a sudden everything died as a breaker blew (at least that’s what I think it was). When the sound seemed to return to normal, the vocals stayed about the same and just didn’t feel like they had the same power they did before things were briefly muffled. After the song was over Chasny let us know that was our last chance to dance.
I have no idea what any of the songs were as the majority were instrumentals and those that weren’t had indiscernible vocals from the previously mentioned change to the output of vox. The overall commonality remained a really heavy sound that went from a sensible song pattern to some really abstract stuff with vocals being yelled or cymbals being crashed seemingly at random. It was certainly an interesting set but not at all the acoustic-driven folky experience I was ready and waiting for.
I couldn’t really say that I was disappointed because I really didn’t know what to expect, not having been an avid fan in the past 3-4 years but I couldn’t help being a bit let down with a totally different sound that wound up being half in my realm of interest and half a bit too abstract for even my tastes, Overall I feel like I can’t really give this show a decent review because I had set myself up for something that I wasn’t going to get. I love some of Six Organs old material and a few songs from their set resonated with that but unless you’re into really experimental music that has some heavy emphasis on the space between notes, you’ll probably be with me on how I felt about a good chunk of their set. I really wanted to like this show but with the expectations that I had and the issues that the acts seemed to have, it wound up as a bit of a bust. Here’s hoping that, that night and the rest of their tour pans out for other audience members.