Fri, 08 July 2005
Pylon on July 7, 2005 at the Earl, Atlanta - what a show!
Three of Pylon's songs have been playing in my head for more that 20 years from hearing them a few times in WREK. I only know the name of one, "M-Train." I just had to see Pylon if I could. For those familiar with M-Train: Woo woo!
I saw both Sleater-Kinney and Pylon within 6 days. I am a fortunate person. If you like Sleater-Kinney are you guaranteed to like Pylon? Maybe, maybe not, more on that later.
Pylon wasn't around for long and now they've reunited for a second time. They were the best Athens band that didn't "make it" in the era of the B-52's and REM. "Vanessa's History of Pylon" tells their tale. I'd argue that they were as good as any Athens band. Their signature sound is unique.
There may be few opportunities to see them. So the wise folks at The Earl celebrated their 6th anniversary by featuring Pylon. God bless them. Pylon gave 100%, played 24 tight songs and two encores. They tore the roof off The Earl, impressed the crowd, and I think they probably impressed themselves too.
So why should a Sleater-Kinney fan enjoy Pylon? Speaking for myself, it's the riffs. Pylon, the B-52's, and Sleater-Kinney rely on original riffs for their signature sound. The riffs are not your standard blues based riffs. Don't get me wrong, I love blues based rock riffs but that's not what we have here.
Pylon songs are striped down and clean, no extra baggage, no strumming of chords. In one song the bass part is only one note. The bass and drummer are as tight a rhythm section as you can find and are the essence of all the songs. The rest is space for the guitar player, Rob, and singer, Vanessa, (a plus-sized, charming, unselfconsciousness woman who go-go dances when the spirit strikes) to provide the sparkle, sheen, crunch, and / counter point, always in the less-is-more mode.
Like to dance at a show? Pylon don't play no stinkin' ballads. They dance-rock in the vein of the B-52's but with less.
I don't own a single Pylon recording. I'm going to get some as soon as I can figure out the names of those two songs.