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Volume 72, Issue 47, Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Life & Arts

Ladytron impressive on first visit

The Daily Cougar

Fog machines, synchronized lights and throbbing dance music were essential ingredients in the desired brew for concert-goers awaiting Ladytron's first Houston performance along with opening act CSS Sunday night at Meridian, 1503 Chartres St. 

Sunday's dance-crazed crowd thrived on Ladytron's blend of electroclash and new wave as the Liverpool-based sextet utilized both vintage and modern synthesizers to release fast-paced dance melodies and syncopated bass rhythms. 

Dancing wasn't the only perk of the evening, lead vocalist Helen Marnie stunned the crowd with a voice that resonated over layers of intense drumming, resounding synthesizers and hasty guitar riffs. 

With Witching Hour, the band's latest release, Ladytron delves into an array of sound experimentation while attempting to salvage electronic dance music.

Unlike many electronica bands, Ladytron's multi-instrumentalists retreated from using pre-recorded keyboard samplings and opted to play everything live at the show. 

"Soft Power," one of the slower-paced songs from the band's 2005 release sounded a bit murky to say the least. Marnie's robotic voice rose above Daniel Hunt's synthesized drone of a bass line to sing the chorus as Mira Aroyo, keyboardist and back-up vocalist, derived shades of eerie melodies from sequencers and analog synthesizers. 

For an obscure change-up Aroyo offered Bulgarian lyrics in the mostly drum and bass driven "Destroy Everything" while Reuben Wu delivered quirky synth-key melodies. 

Even though Ladytron's music was daring, the individual members were laid-back and reserved, traits nowhere to be found in CSS's opening performance. 

CSS (Cansei de Ser Sexy), a pop-oriented Brazilian sextet, proved to be a hard act to follow as LoveFoxx (lead vocalist) took to crowd surfing in between delivering simplistic girlish vocals while engaging in animated dancing throughout the set. Ira Trevisan delivered jittery bass guitar riffs while Adriano Cintra attacked each piece with vicious drumming. 

CSS relied on stage charisma to get them through the set while Ladytron was able to impress the crowd with musical creativity. 

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