The intimate confines of the venue are perfect for the motorik post-punk of Brooklynites The Wants, side-project of Bodega guitarist Madison Velding-VanDam. He is joined by his Bodega bandmate Heather Elle on bass (Jason Gates completes the lineup on drums) and from the moment they squeeze onto the tight space of the stage, they ooze cool, with every bass and synth note reverberating through the venue and the frontman thrashing every note out of his guitar.
Beginning with wild instrumental ‘Ramp’, technical problems briefly halt the show as the vocals kick in to ‘Nuclear Party’. Luckily the three-piece aren’t phased by the early setback and restart with added vigour. ‘Fear My Society’ is a statement on modern pressures set to techno-inspired beats and is riddled with the anxiety which frontman Velding-VanDam sings of.
The real highlight is recent single ‘The Motor’. A motorik post-punk masterpiece, it is brought to life on the live stage as Velding-VanDam throws himself around the limited stage space, pulling all the moves in his repertoire, only breaking to almost robotically repeat the refrain of “when my heart beats fast as the motor, I’m calm”. The pulsating synths of ‘Ape Trap’ follow, with Velding-VanDam beaming with delight as he trades vocals with bassist Heather Elle. ‘Island of Cells’ changes the mood briefly as it begins deceptively melodic, before the rhythm section comes thundering in and business as usual is resumed. Ending with the urgent ‘Clearly A Crisis’, a short set which doesn’t last much longer than thirty minutes is brought to an abrupt end.
The Wants showcase their forthcoming album ‘Container’ in the best possible way this evening. With elements of Talking Heads and Neu integrated within, if the record is even half as good as they are this evening, then it is a salivating prospect.
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