Boxstep/Kingsbury ManxAustin Scottish Rite Theatre, Thursday 14 Late though I was, it took all of a second before I was neck deep in Boxstep's set at the Scottish Rite Theatre. A big, insistent sound replete with dual violins and a wash of guitars played lush, urgent rock of stratospheric intensity. Overcoat Records, a spinoff of Chicago über-indie Thrill Jockey, started their showcase off strong with this band. Belligerently steady drums wanged up by searing guitars and the high and persistent violins made for a passion that fit the splendour of this aged theater. In the second slot, Kingsbury Manx put in a long-awaited showcase, as the quartet has canceled their last two scheduled local appearances. Unfortunately, some minor monitor troubles made for a late start, and the swelling crowd would have to make due with about a half-hour's worth. When they started, it was like they were pulling a sled, fighting the slow cadence and straining riffs against the crisp, plodding beat. They were delicate, and then they were loud -- but mostly they were subdued. Lackluster vocals set to somewhat pedetrian melodies threatened, but the keyboard player filled in with enough effects, and the guitarists pushed enough pedals that the music didn't falter as much as it simply loafed. Nice. Not thrilling, but nice.
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