Dice Fly High, Thank 7: Two Stars
• Genre(s): Indie rock
• You’ll like it if: You don’t mind the occasional sensitive-guy stanza residing amid full-throttle chord structures.
• Defining song: “Freeeda” — Full of spitfire lyrics and lightning-quick licks, this song is Dice Fly High at its cagiest.
The trio of experience in Dice Fly High should elicit elation from local-music junkies. Thomas Fitzpatrick (vocals, guitar), Zack Plemmons (bass, vocals) and Eric McMurry (drums) came together after stints in bands Dirt Poor Authority, Evoka and Black-Eyed Dog. The debut EP, Thank 7 (written entirely by Fitzpatrick), is full of sharp production, menacing guitars and vocals more raw than an opened blister. Half of the songs work well, like “Fiji,” which is effective as an anti-war tune. However, other tracks seem trapped in an early-’90s alt-rock time warp, and the primary love ballad — “Sparkle” — is out of place in the aggressive landscape. Though their music is not ugly duckling, Dice Fly High needs more-convincing albums to become the fully realized swan portrayed on their EP cover.
LCD Soundsystem at the Orange Peel; Sunday, Nov. 13: Four Stars
• Genre(s): Punk, indie, electronic
• Be glad you stayed home if: You prefer repetition in your trance diet.
• Defining moment: Opener “Your City’s a Sucker” set a fire that didn’t abate till the set was over.
By the end of the first set, LCD Soundsystem was well on its way to rivaling Arcade Fire for show of the year. Electronic music has been in dire need of a kick in the ass — and LCD boasts a very large boot. Bearing smart lyrics with punk fangs, LCD had the small crowd jolting to every word and beat. Then, confusion set in. Lead singer James Murphy — a contagiously charismatic front man — told fans before the break that another set was coming. Then the lights came on, followed by the house music, an indicator for folks to go home. Murphy appeared minutes later, apologizing to the smattering of people who still clung to hope.
Since I missed most of the explanation, I gathered that either the band’s management pulled the plug or the Orange Peel did. After contacting the Peel, I’m surprised LCD played at all. Their usual guitarist was a new father, and — according to Dan Cochran, the front-of-house engineer — “the singer’s voice was hurting, the drummer was physically unstable and there was only one song left anyway.” (Cochran confirmed it was the band who ended the show.)
Though the one set was hot, my thwarted expectations for two left me rankled. Perhaps three conciliatory sets are in order if LCD ever comes to Asheville again.
[When he’s not bending readers to his will, Hunter Pope cooks, gardens, hikes and spends his mortgage money on CDs he’s never heard.]