N. Nomurai and Demonlover at Smash Bar, 2/15/12: Recap and Photos

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Mabel Suen
N. Nomurai combines the efforts of Eric Hall, Jim Winkeler and drummer Jeremy Brantlinger.
N. Nomurai | Demonlover
Smash Bar
February 15, 2012

N. Nomurai was assembled close to the entry way, with Eric Hall seated atop a small drum riser and his cohorts planted in a triangle. Jim Winkeler (of the Conformists) shook the walls of Washington Avenue's Smash Bar with his thousand-pound bass sound and Jeremy Brantlinger sent compliments to his band mates via disjointed percussion. N. Nomurai was coming off a recent sabbatical from shows. Last night, the powerhouse trio showed up to sling its booming improvisations.

I watched N. Nomurai begin its set, and an over-sized flat screen TV, which was adjacent to the stage, started blasting former pop-diva Shakira and her signature belly-dancing. Gyrating hips on a screen with the brightness settings maxed out was a jarring juxtaposition to the dark, noisy squall of N. Nomurai. If only Eric Hall had an exotic woman contorting her body every time he performed.

Mabel Suen
Demon Lover kicks off its inaugural show as a trio at Smash Bar.
Demonlover followed with an appropriately noisy if not solid set of songs. Demonlover contains former members from Theodore (Andy Lashier, J.J. Hamon and Sam Meyer last night) who pile their skills into an energetic, eclectic alt-folk group worthy of your heart and your earplugs. Highlights from its proper debut included a re-imagining of Roy Orbison's Dream Baby sung entirely in French, and a unique version of TV Set by the Cramps.

Demonlover was an appropriate follow-up to noise denizens N. Nomurai. The new band also made use of a wide range of sounds, including trumpet, trombone, synthesizer and xylophone to add blends of texture to the standard power-trio set up. The songs as a whole were anchored by guitar, bass and drums with a loose composition style that lent itself to improvisation.

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