Rick Kowal's incessant booming bass heightens the mind-numbing house-music element, but the band and its sound guys need to be careful not to turn it up too loud in the mix. At both shows I saw, the bass overpowered the more delicate instruments. Watching cellist Drew Deogracias wildly wielding his bow with serious intent, I was disappointed not to be able to hear the results.
Adding to all this sound and fury are lilting, hypnotic vocals from Kate Lamb, who writes short, inexplicable poetic lyrics for most of the numbers. Lamb usually sings only about a third of each song, spending the rest of the improv time playing djembe (an African drum) or dancing with the crowd offstage. But when she stands still at the mike, while the guys behind her bop to their crazy rhythms, her voice is like a drunken angel's.
Full is at TC's Speakeasy in Ypsilanti on Saturday, November 23.
Photograph by J. Adrian Wylie.
[Originally published in November, 2002.]