Sign up for our newsletters    

Baltimore City Paper home page.

They Don’t Wanna Be Buried: In Every Room, March 25 at Pet Cemetery

April 20, 2010

| Image by City Paper Digi-Cam

The local trio In Every Room‘s recorded output so far consists of a six-song EP, and at the end of its recent 40-minute set at Pet Cemetery, the band declared to the appreciative audience that it had already played every song it knew. But the contrast between that recording and that performance was a testament to how quickly In Every Room is growing and improving. What may have felt tentative or incomplete about the band’s kooky electronic pop slow burners on record was fleshed out with more energy and stronger singing, proving that the volume and adrenaline inherent to live performance can benefit even bands that don’t appear to privilege those values.

Of the three members of In Every Room, only bassist Rob McCracken stayed on one instrument for the whole set. Singers Amy Reid and Chase O’Hara both moved from one instrument to another throughout the night, she between drums and synths, he between guitar and a large array of pedals and effects. Most of the band’s rhythmic drive came from O’Hara’s loops, but Reid’s busy tom-toms were often what got the songs off the ground. And even though the guitar/bass/drums lineup toward the end of the set produced anything but a standard rock trio, that bit of crunchy heft helped its jammy, loosely structured songs immensely. Even the band’s sparer tracks, like the awkward synth marimba boogie of “In Thought,” just sounded better all loud and in person.

The next band was Lord Jeff, a power trio from Massachusetts that had just played South by Southwest and have an album coming out on Ecstatic Peace this summer. When it played big heavy psychedelic riffs and the guitarist was climbing on top of a very tall amp, Lord Jeff came off pretty damn cool. But the band would also happily puncture that cool with a dorky cover choice, or a short detour into beatboxing and rapping about food. But the show had started late, and by the time the other Massachusetts act on the bill, Truman Peyote, started in with the drones and loops, it felt like a good time to head out, although those heavy tones did sound pretty good traveling down the stairwell and away from the building.