Here Lies Man at The MOTH Club

Support: Gary the Tall (NTS)
March 7, 2018 at The MOTH Club
Promoter: Bad Vibrations

Strange night. I thought we didn’t get the review pass, so I skipped the support band (Gary the Tall) and generally had a hard time getting into the headspace of a review; but, I digress. Here Lies Man struck me as a perfect warm-up to Rocket 20, especially considering that their opening night was Flowers Must Die, Julie’s Haircut and Goat. I could actually see this band on the label one day – they’d just have to dip further into psyche and get a bit gnarlier.

Here Lies Man are a new band with a lot of expectation on their shoulders. I wasn’t really sure what to expect going in but was hoping for a more chaotic take on their recorded material. What I found was that I understood the inner workings of the band better live: for example, most of what I thought was great guitar work on the record was actually a dude killing it on a pair of keyboards. The drums are absolutely at the core of everything they’re doing. The guitar work is actually kind of just math rock, the bass is mostly funk and the keys are proggy as fuck. It’s all twinged with influences from Afrobeat, but its greatest attribute is its timeless quality merging sounds that feel at home in the 1970s with stuff very much in vogue right now. It’s a tough thing to really enhance live it seems; any time the lead vocalist tried to fuck around with his own melodies to push it further, it seemed to detract from what they’d done on the record; so it seems difficult to think how they’re gonna push it out further going forward. I’d have imagined it just being more shouty and explosive and leaning further onto their rock influences, which all things considered seems like the best way for them to create a captivating live show.

I enjoyed watching Here Lies Man and discovering more of their dynamic, but it essentially felt like listening to a slightly altered take on the record; and I don’t really think that necessitates performance or is conducive to a good performance. With time, I’m sure they’ll be an excellent live; band but, for now, it’s a little too passive for me – though a lot of people seemed to be enjoying swaying and nodding their heads. Maybe, I’m just a miserable cunt who doesn’t like music that’s meant for dancing and “vibing”, or whatever the fuck it’s called in whatever scene this is. . .

Here Lies Man make fucking great music. If you’ve not heard their album go and watch them live, or get yourself here and enjoy it in your own company:

 

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