Black Onassis, Spirit Animal

Late Show

Black Onassis

Spirit Animal

Our Mountain

Mon, December 12, 2011

Doors: 8:30 pm

Mercury Lounge

New York, NY

This event is 21 and over

Black Onassis - (Set time: 10:30 PM)
Black Onassis
Formed by Chris Karloff (lead guitarist and co-songwriter on the first two Kasabian albums), Black Onassis have been crafting a dark, brooding, and mysterious album of psychedelic electronic rock’n’roll. Fuzzed-up chainsaw guitars, blissed-out hypnotic drones, sirens blaring, full-on throbbing beats. They have made an inspiring record that reflects the intensity, the highs and lows of life in New York.
Spirit Animal - (Set time: 9:30 PM)
Spirit Animal
It might sound strange, but it takes some serious soul to discover rock music's spirit and an absolute animal to find its superhuman funk. Luckily, the modern listener has Spirit Animal to turn to for all of the above.

The NYC-based band's 2013 single, "The Black Jack White," premiered on MTV Buzzworthy who praised the song's dirty bass, stripped down drums and shouted group lyrics as "an animal all its own." This summer, the video for the song debuted on mtvU where it has been two months in rotation as of this writing. On last year's EP, This Is a Test, the band masterfully melds decades of disparate elements in search of music at its most carnal, anthemic and party-ready. The heavy riffs and pounding rhythms of their funk, psychedelia and pop create a sound seemingly from the ether, but grounded in the diversity of four gents who are gifted at the dying art of leaving it all on the stage. This is what led to label them "hands down our favorite rock n' roll discovery of 2012."

Spirit Animal frontman Steve Cooper is a D.C. area-born talent, uncoiling a multitude of skills that go beyond the realm of melodies, production and body sweat into the worlds of cheffing and web content craftsmanship. Cooper, whom KCRW calls "unbelievable," met Spirit Animal bassist Paul Michel in the nation's Capitol in 2002 where the Libyan-born Army brat spent much of his youth. Michel has toured with a half dozen bands including Georgie James (Saddle Creek Records) and it's his bottom -- he's the best dancer in the band-- that propels This Is a Test into otherworldly realms of low end theory. Upon that astral plane, guitarist Cal Stamp provides sterling pop sensibility and face-melting solos that recall an era when Guitar Gods were the real Pop Stars. Battening down the hatches is drummer Ronen Evron, an Israeli transplant by way of the technically unrivaled Berklee College of Music in Boston. The fearsome foursome adds up to an organism with one mission, and one mission only.

"Rock n' roll embodies the whole of modern music's spirit, but you can't have one without the other," Cooper says. "The roll is the part people sometimes forget, and that's sad since that's the party part."

The list of influences that Spirit Animal rolls with is expansive, as pieces of familiarity peak out behind a smorgasbord of original ideas. Their new school nonchalance is balanced by a fervent bombasticism reminiscent of early 90s era Red Hot Chili Peppers. On the new EP, "Love Crime" blends Cooper's soulful expressions with a bar brawl hook that reflects the most universal of relationships gone bad. Elsewhere, there's David Byrne-cum-Mike Patton soapboxing over the art throb of "Lead!" The only thing more trippy than Stamp's guitar solo on first single "Crocodile Skins" is the forest Shaman enlightenment of the track's music video (shot shirtless in 22 degree weather, mind you). By the time This Is a Test delves into a tried and true na-na-na-na-na sing-a-long (on "WTF"), it's obvious that this band can and does do everything music fans could ask for.

Live, the band is at once manic and precise with a non-stop show full of careening melodies, call-and-response choruses, and lots (and lots) of the aforementioned body sweat. Spirit Animal have been called an "unmissable live act," and it’s been said their "furious energy and fierce musicianship" are poised to not only stand the test of time, but help the masses re-live it.
Our Mountain - (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Our Mountain
"Their live show is as strong as Auntie Myrtle’s yellow picket fence and as engaging as an evangelical car crash somewhere between the fork in the road and the damn hairs on the back of your neck standing loud, be prepared to witness the absurd."
Venue Information:
Mercury Lounge
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002