Recently I’ve been on a big shoegaze kick and adding more and more gazey goodness to my music library. To be honest it’s been a bit of a blur since I put them all on a big playlist and aimlessly shuffle it from time to time. But I have to say that one band really stood out in the past month, They Are Gutting a Body of Water, also known as TAGABOW. Their album Destiny XL is so damn good that when I saw that they were coming to Brooklyn, I had to get a ticket. And I’m glad I did ahead of time since the show sold out.
The lineup was stacked with slow, dissonant bands starting off with a group called Bedridden. Their songs were a bit faster than most bands in a similar lane and had solid bass lines to carry the genre’s quintessential baggage. Bands like Bedridden make it cool to see how shoegaze is being both revived and reinvented in a way. The Slowdive-like sound is there and Bedridden clearly has their own take on it. And they back it up on stage—their performance was tight which was impressive given the new bass player in their lineup.
After Bedridden was Sun Organ, a band with three guitar players layering hazey goodness into the atmosphere. Their notes weaved in and out of each other slowly but surely, like the mice and birds in Cinderella making her dress—flowing, methodical, and sweet. The band played each song like they were sinking into it, the way it should be with heavily internal music. And I’ll be honest, I haven’t always been big on bands with more than two guitarists in the past, but this one may have changed my mind. I can’t see them creating this experience for the crowd without so many strings and a plethora of pedals.
I also have to mention that Sun Organ’s drummer was doing the most. I usually don’t notice bands’ drummers as much as the people playing in front of them, but their energy took up a lot of space in a good way. The whole band reached beyond the stage in an ephemeral sense.
Next was Full Body 2, a band I hadn’t heard before the show. They, like many others on the ticket, are from Philly and I feel like a ton of great bands come out of that city, so it was no surprise that they were amazing. The band’s music clearly has a big video game influence paired with the shoegaze sound I love— and the unique blend is unreal. I don’t know a ton about video games, but I do know their sound is crazy.
I actually had to put down my camera and notes to surrender to the energy. The deeply heady soup they brewed up in the space, like a cosmic whirlwind bigger than all of us standing in a small room in Brooklyn. Beyond the graveyard out back of the venue and all. They blew my mind in a really really good way. I haven’t felt completely stopped in my tracks like that at a show in a while so as you might guess, I’m a fan now. A big one.
Full Body 2
Last was the band I’d been waiting for, They Are Gutting a Body of Water. The band set up in a circle as they always do, facing one another with several members off stage so they can focus on the sound. It makes a lot of sense with how layered and intense their music is. It also makes it really cool to watch them play with the crowd behind singer Douglas Dulgarian.
As expected their performance hit hard. The crowd flowed with them and all the waves making up their wall of sound. Everyone in the room almost created a unified body, bobbing and moshing around the circle. Like quicksand sucking everything in for a moment in time. In simpler terms, it was dope.
They Are Gutting a Body of Water
Unfortunately TAGABOW’s set got cut short after their sample machine stopped working. That said, the songs they did play couldn’t have been better and the long night was worth every minute.
I would highly recommend catching TAGABOW on tour in October if you can. And listening to their music either way, it’s truly some of the best shoegaze I’ve heard in a while and their cyberpunk interludes are otherworldly.
If you’re looking to go to shows like this one in Brookyln, I’d suggest checking out the Ringing show on 9/28 at Rubulad and the High show at Purgatory on 9/30. Both tickets are full of local shoegaze bands you won’t want to miss.
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Juliette Boulay)
FULL BODY 2