Every once in a while, you hear a local band that packs a combination of polish and emotional immediacy that makes your ears perk up -- and I suspect local newcomers Thee Adora may be just such a band. At Brillobox last Saturday, the group delivered a strong set of tunes that laid atmospheric guitar chords and textures atop no-nonsense rock rhythms and structures, creating a dynamic flow around Stacy Pomroy's strong, direct vocals. The band played to a good-sized crowd, despite the fact that it was only its second show ... and you could barely hear the lyrics ... and that Brillobox's air conditioning had gone out on an absolutely sweltering night.
In addition to Pomroy, the band includes bassist Dan Martin, guitarists Ryan Phipps and Martin Lunn (of Greensburg metalcore pioneers Zao), and Jeremy Papay. (Full disclosure: Papay was a former bandmate of mine in Chalk Outline Party, which disbanded a year ago.) A highlight of the set was "The Bath Song" ("It's called that because I wrote it in the bath," Pomroy told me later), a long ballad that opens with contemplative harmonica, and slowly builds toward a wall of Interpol-style guitar.
The band's just started to think about recording, but on its MySpace page, www.myspace.com/theeadora, you can listen in on a goth-tronica cover of Lennon's "Imagine," and a preliminary sketch of "The Bath Song." (The recorded version is considerably less explosive and dynamic, but gives you the idea.)
Also on the local tip, the Three Rivers Arts Festival is a good time to catch up on who's up-and-coming ... and who's still around. Thu., June 12 offers several local indie favorites, with atmospheric Americana band Boca Chica playing the noon slot, Life in Bed playing right after work, and the sunny retro-pop of Derek White and the Monophobics opening for headliner Rustic Overtones. Fri., June 13, accomplished neo-soul group Omega Love plays late into the night, following a set by headliner Maceo Parker; pop-rock stars-in-waiting Takeover UK open for the legendary New York Dolls on Sun., June 15.
All-star hip-hop band Formula412 is the main attraction on Mon., June 16, with openers Sonji and Black Sun; jam band CK9 and the Old E Allstars play the lunchtime slot. CK9's Tony Thomas has recently joined another local group, Wino Riot, who play the next night (Wed., June 18) opening for electronic-organic improvisers Lotus. Wino Riot recently released The Zygote on Mr. Small's Creative Life Support label; you can pick up a copy at the show.