On Thursday night, the Detroit Bar hosted LA-based Indie rockers Olso along with The Side A's and Division Day. With only a couple of weeks before they hit the dusty trial to South by South West, the band decided to make a pit stop at Detroit for the first time, and hopefully not the last. Since the launch of their brilliantly-polished second album, “The Rise and Fall of Love and Hate,” this dynamic five piece has been spreading it's roots all over LA and OC collecting fan support along the way.
Fellow OC Weekly intern Pat Chavis and I started our night at Detroit doing what wannabe reporters do best…getting there wayyy too early. We shuffled into the dim red shadows of the bar around 8 p.m. to find more people setting up gear onstage than buying drinks. Thankfully, we had a video camera to keep us amused until people started trailing in.
One of those people was an ultra, super almost too friendly drunk sporting a smile and a half empty bottle of Corona. He told us his name was Francisco. He didn't speak any English and with the exception of an introduction page from a high school Spanish book Pat and I were pretty much hopeless. I think he actually makes a cameo in the interview we shot after the show…so keep an eye out.
By the time guitar player Gabriel McNair strummed the first delay-slathered guitar chord of the song “A Darker Shade,” the bar was swarming and ready for some sound. Even those more interested in getting plastered tuned their eyes up to the vintage black and white t.v. screens above the the rainbow of booze.
The performance started off with a swell of reverb, steady kick beats and gritty, the melodramatic voice of singer Matilla Borrani. The new songs definitely show the evolution and tightening of the band's sound held up by the study rumble of rhythm by keyboardist Damon Ramirez, wiry bass man Kerry Wayne James and and drummer Charlie Walker.
The album's title track was a stellar surprise to see live, with a high wave of echoing vocal tones and an over all feeling that these guys had the recipe for a great radio pop song mixed with an atmospheric sonic trip. They fired through a 30 minute set that cracked even the most stagnant audience member by the time they walked off stage. They also kind enough to give the Weekly a shout after the show.