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Fucking in the Streets

Pregnant Deliver the Loud

Fucking in the Streets

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HEALTH

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Some band names are harder to look up on the old Google than others, and one such difficult name is that of local band Pregnant. Not helping matters is that the only band member whose name I know is drummer (and new dad) Matt Doctor. Weirdly, feeding "Pregnant" and "Doctor" into a search engine does not return a lot of hits about fledgling post-hardcore rock bands. (And then, of course, I noticed the address written on their demo: www.myspace.com/pregnantwa.)

The impetus for all this needless querying was last Saturday's HEALTH show at the Vera Project. Pregnant opened, and they were a pleasant surprise and a high point of the whole show. The band performed as a four-piece, although Doctor tells me that the band's membership is in a state of flux: Bassist Candace Harter is moving to Portland soon, guitarists/vocalists Jared Sletager and Nick Merz occasionally play as a duo sans drums, and other members may come and go. (Doctor adds that after he finishes recording the band's debut, their core duo may experiment with playing along to recorded drums for some future touring shows.)

For Saturday night, though, they made great use of their four-person lineup, Doctor's drums driving the band as the others layered three guitars' worth of ringing, rising discord. One song began with a circular guitar melody piercing through a scraped-cello-string bass sound summoned from a small keyboard; the two guitars gradually slipped out of synch and into dissonance before the song burst into a drum-pounding crescendo. Another ended with just a lopsided one... twothree drum beat sounding out on its own into the feedback swelling for the next song. The two vocalists were practically inaudible, though, respectively mumbling or screaming red-faced but always almost totally drowned out by the band's admirably loud drums and high-voltage guitar sound (courtesy of some Verellen amplifiers). Throughout the set, the songs charged ahead, galloping rhythm and chugging guitars, then halted for some disruptive drum break, then swerved into unexpectedly bright melodic passages, all punctuated by spikes of feedback and distortion.

Their two available demo tracks, "Hoax" and "Teenage Lips," don't do justice to Pregnant's live set—and in fact, the songs kind of suffer for the vocals not being quite so awash in the music. But if last weekend's show was any indication, this is a quartet—or a duo or maybe something else entirely—to keep an eye on.

Past Lives played about the same set as they did at Bumbershoot, bookending things with a dreamy, Deerhunter-ish noise-pop opener and a final song featuring some backward-slipping organ sounds, a long and steadily propulsive rhythmic build, and a tumbling, dark, and hushed chorus. Pictureplane's Denver-bred junk-rave was just wack and way out of date; singing about Atlantis over your iPod is sooo 2007. HEALTH sounded great—especially their new stuff, with its micro delay-as-distortion—but looked woefully underworked onstage (so much flailing about, so little guitar playing). recommended

 

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HockeyFanNick 1
Dude sounds like Damon Albarn of Blur & Gorillaz.
I'm really in to this band & wanted to thank you because I may not have found out about them without you! After Dinner Mints is mucho rad, thanks again.
Posted by HockeyFanNick http://Facebook.com/HockeyFanNick on September 23, 2009 at 5:28 PM · Report this
HockeyFanNick 2
Wait a minute, I'm confused....
is this the same band?

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZSto…
Posted by HockeyFanNick http://Facebook.com/HockeyFanNick on September 23, 2009 at 5:51 PM · Report this
3
eric.
maybe if you hadn't been reading a book in the lobby like some jackass indie kid you might have appreciated past lives set more. yes, i saw you. you were sitting cross-legged in the lobby reading a book, like a nerd, while all the bands played. you should smoke pot more or something... get a life.
Posted by the stranger's music dept. sucks on September 26, 2009 at 11:50 AM · Report this
4
not the same pregnant. this is who played: http://www.myspace.com/pregnantwa
Posted by candace.harter on December 31, 2009 at 9:44 AM · Report this

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