The Austin Chronicle

Free Week Live Shots Part II

Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, January 17, 2014, Music

Black Books

Mohawk, Jan. 10

Largely unknown in town despite being one of only two local acts that's toured with the Flaming Lips of late, space-traveling Austin fivepiece Black Books splits the difference between Sigur Ros' delicateness and Tame Impala's psychedelic soup. Much of that credit belongs to singer Ross Gilfillan, who stood center stage inside Mohawk doppelgänging Live's Ed Kowalczyk, his hairless dome, collarless black shirt, and soaring vox re-creating the band's eponymous, four-star October debut. Gilfillan proved confident and charismatic as he stepped slowly around the stage, his bandmates backing him with practiced concision for nearly 45 minutes. Opener "Favorite Place" set the mood, "Take Take Take" hit like a brick, and the slow burn of "Something to Remember" soared galactic as to make Roger Waters blush. After nailing two songs – new drummer Chris Evans hadn't yet practiced either one – the band tripped to "Paradise" before settling on "The Big Idea." By then, Black Books had already packed the solar system into a small room.

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