Halifax-based Mauno and Vulva Culture team up with local indie scene.
Halifax bands Mauno and Vulva Culture brought their Rolling in the Creep tour to Thunder & Lightning Thursday night, recruiting local acts The Kavorkas and Klarka Weinwurm to join them. The shows took place at the bowling alley in the back of the bar and provided a mix of acts which touched on many spectrums of modern independent rock.
The Kavorkas performed first, shredding some riff-centric noise rock that had a grungy tilt. The two-piece band is comprised of Sharoni Mitra on guitar, with Robert Blackbeard taking up both drumming and vocal duties. Mitra’s guitar drove the band, with her fuzz-heavy riffs switching throughout the songs. With Blackbeard’s almost dance-punk-esque drumming alongside lyrics about missing recess and polyamourous love, The Kavorkas opened things up on the right note.
Mauno was up next, playing a set wound tighter than a smoker deprived of cigarettes in a snowstorm. Similar to a jam band without any self-indulgent noodling, the band played some driving music, with influences of mid-2000s freak-folk manifesting in their vocal-harmony driven breakdowns. Every song built to a point where all instruments would cut out, a vocal harmony would soar, and the three members would tap into some primal collective consciousness and start again. This created a cycle of tense beauty which kept the crowd on edge. Mauno’s drummer, former Sackville fixture Evan Matthews, showed his proficiency as a drummer once again, guiding the music and knowing when to pull back his part and when to ride the chaos with his drum fills.
Local indie musician Klarka Weinwurm was on third, playing the type of Pavement-influenced indie music standard in Sackville. The crowd was enjoying the show, and the band was proficiently playing their music, but the songs all came off sounding alike. This is not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to indie rock, but it would have been nice if there was some variation to freshen things up.
Vulva Culture capped out the evening, playing a set of melancholic dream-pop focused on airy vocals and a two-guitar dynamic. All of the set’s songs were slow dirges, sounding like the soundtrack to a sepia-tinged slow-motion dream, with the vocals low enough in the mix to sound like Bilinda Butcher singing from the bottom of a well. The lead guitarist was as much of a melodic force as the vocalist, with her spindly guitar lines providing as much melodic structure as the singer. The sprawling set left the crowd swaying along to tunes, the perfect kind of music to emanate from a bowling alley at 1:30 in the morning.
Vulva Culture finished their set a few minutes after 1:30, but everyone who showed up stuck around till the end, unwilling to miss out on such an engrossing set. All in all, the bands demonstrated that creeps could roll as efficiently as bowling balls in this alley.