Yes, they were all very competent musicians. Yes, her voice was crystal clear and soared above the music very nicely indeed . It was easily to imagine some of these songs being used in some sequences of Hollywood films in the future. But by the end, I was left with a feeling that I had been exposed to a … what?
I was going to say performance, but actually, what I witnessed probably had less impact than if I had listened to the songs at home and let my imagination fill in the gaps .
The Vivian Girls, I immediately liked, and found to be the kind of stuff that sticks in the mind and follows one around . Also, being a fan of 60's 'Garage punk', I also loved their throwaway trashy lack of seriousness and gritty edge. And so, once I found that La Sera were an offshoot of the Vivian Girls, venturing out to see them at the Lexington (playing to promote their new second album Sees the Light) filled me with a certain amount of positive expectation.
I was first of all surprised to find that the singer Katy (Kickball Katy) was the only girl in the band, And that La Sera had none of the gritty edge that the Vivian Girls had. In fact, things kind of plodded along through a set of fifteen shortish songs .
Out of this set of fifteen songs taken from their two albums, for me two tracks stood out. One of them 'Love That's Gone', I genuinely like. The other 'Never Come Around' is clearly one of those tracks that have the power to linger after hearing it, ('catchy' is I think, the official old school phrase ). But in this particular instance catchy is not necessarily something I actually want; like I don't want a bad cold following me around . 'Never Come Around' was their first single; 'Love That's Gone' is undeniably a very good song, but a song which is hard 'not' to readily compare to Mazzy Star.After their set of fifteen songs, and a bit of an attempt on the last song to build things to 'sort of' crescendo (by the utilisation of a bit of light pseudo-Hendrix guitar weebling), they went offstage with no encore. The lights came on and the customers left promptly.
light pseudo-Hendrix guitar weebling
Katy does not deliver any kind of 'performance', being comfortably confined behind her Bass guitar, and none of the other band members do much in the way of movement to instigate the art of 'raising enthusiasm' in the punters. Their recordings however have pretty nice production, and in certain cases lend a little more of what I liked about the Vivian Girls to the songs .
At the end of this gig, there was a feeling that Ma & Pa had told the kiddies that it was time to go home and stop that loud-(ish) music as it was time for bed. Everyone was very good and well-behaved. Katy set the precedent for this, and was ever so polite and sweet throughout the whole set.
La Sera had a dedicated and satisfied set of customers at the Lexington (mainly composed of the foppish indie Male variety). If you like your tea very milky with lots of sugar and find harmonious satisfaction in lots of 'pleases' and 'thank yous' then this is the band for you.