The Selfish Gene and Sunshine for the Blind @Crystal Corner Bar 9/18/2010
The Selfish Gene finally got the opportunity to celebrate the release of their new six-song E.P. with this show at the Crystal Corner.
The band, a trio since re-forming in 2008, now sports a tougher sound that allows the vocals to take more prominence. They opened with a couple of acoustic guitar numbers from the new recording, What It Sees, Where it Sleeps. This configuration (and really the E.P.) resulted from the loss of new drummer Rob Young, who slipped a couple of discs, leaving him out of action for several months. (Read more in our review of the album here.)
But when guitarist Matt Allen strapped on the electric guitar, the band sounded much bigger than three instruments. Their distinctive vocal blend coupled with arrangements that surprise at every turn have kept the Selfish Gene sound intact while the pared down formation allows for more breathing space and a clearer, more direct connection to the audience. Eric Andraska delivered the high harmonies with emotion while anchoring the low end with his melodic bass.
The Selfish Gene played some newer tunes that are sure to show up on their new, electric album, which they plan to have out before year-end, as well as selctions from the Grand Masquerade, their 2007 recording that earned them significant national press.
Opening for the Gene was Sunshine for the Blind the band featuring DNA recording studio ace Brian Daly on guitar and vocals. Maybe it was just my mood, but SFTB sounded more psychedlic than I remember them to be. About three songs in the band really started to click and the standout “Another Sun” was pure bliss.
Two of Madison’s more distinctively creative bands playing in a small club like the Crystal should leave little room to breathe. That was not so much the case, however, as the live club scene continues to be underattended. While there was competition on several fronts in town, the line for these two should have been out-the-door-down-the-street.