Doug’s Pick Of The Week: Vundabar at Sound Of Music

12998617_10153457031516466_1716535936862890746_nSaturday, May 14 7 PM
Sour Presents: Vundabr, Antiphons, Camp Howard, Lance Bangs @ Sound Of Music – $6

If fresh and exciting indie rock is your scene, then Sound Of Music is where you all need to be this Saturday night for a four band show brought to us from the fine folks at Sour Presents. If you’re wondering what in the world “indie rock” even means in 2016, then this is a perfect show for you too, as each band will put on a wonderful display of jangly guitars, catchy melodies, and ridiculous antics, all staples of bands that made indie rock so admired two decades ago.

Hardworking Massachusetts trio Vundabar headline this show in the middle of their current crazy tour, taking them from Texas to Canada over the next forty nights or so. The band’s been climbing the metaphorical ladder the last few years, thanks in large part to a highly celebrated live set, and they seem to have reached a great spot last summer with the release of their record Gawk. The record reminds me a lot of The Smiths actually, even though it doesn’t really sound like them. Bear with me, but the way Vundabar makes the guitar sound so playful and bouncy against somewhat sullen soundscapes is key here, as are the witty and sardonic lyrics that everyone’s come to expect from the King Of Mope. If you’ve ever found yourself marveling at Marr’s ability to make a depressing song sound fun or Morrissey’s ability to make you laugh while insulting you, then this is the band for you. Vundabar’s clearly still on the rise, though, so this is your chance to see a flourishing band as they continue to climb that ladder.

Richmond’s Antiphons is on the bill as well, for their first show in town since their short East Coast tour. So let’s give them a big homecoming of sorts, shall we? Their brand of self-described bummer pop is a good fit on this bill, a perfect contrast between the dynamics of Vundabar and the bright surf pop of the other bands. It will be a sad affair when they’re on stage for sure, but this quartet has some powerhouse songs up their sleeves, like “Flock” and “Ghosts In The Attic,” which will leave you both sonically impressed and emotionally devastated. So have fun with that!

Two great acts from the Citrus City roster round out the show, in Camp Howard and Lance Bangs (who we’ll be reminding people used to be Collin Thibodeauxx for the next year). Camp Howard still has a lot of RVA reeling from their new record, a collection steeped in dreamy indie rock that’s perfect for any fan of effortlessly catchy music. This quartet is quickly becoming RVA’s newest obsession so make sure to catch them now before they start moving on to bigger and better things. Lance Bangs is probably not too far behind Camp Howard too. They’ve got a new album looming on the horizon that’s poised to expose a much wider audience to their lively and idiosyncratic sound, which is just a perfect fit here in town. Both Citrus City bands are powerhouses live, offering up yet another reason you should plan your Saturday night around a visit to Sound Of Music.

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