Riding the recent buzz of well-received performances at the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, six piece, Canadian, electronic outfit Shout Out Out Out Out arrived in Chicago for a Wednesday night performance at Schubas…
Veterans of a variety of rock and punk bands before putting together Shout Out Out Out Out in 2004, that experience in a genre of music that depends upon live performance has given the sextet a distinct advantage when it comes to hitting the stage as an electronic music act.
Wednesday’s show built song structures upon live drums, bass guitar and vocals as well as keyboard, Moog analog synthesizer and other electronic elements melding apparent influences ranging anywhere from punk rock to Krautrock along the way. Artists like New Order, Big Audio Dynamite and Missing Persons were apparent as well.
The songs performed Wednesday in front of about forty people at Schubas were loud and engaging with a clear structure and lyrics that established a mood and feel.
Credit the members of Shout Out Out Out Out for using electronic elements intelligently to augment a solid rhythm section (two drummers performing together alongside live bass guitar). Electronic elements can become a crutch for some artists but the members of this band are obviously extremely skilled musicians able to utilize technology for the sake of crafting a good song, playing off each other well on stage. They’re a band in every sense of the word.
“Dude You Feel Electrical” from their 2006 debut Not Saying/Just Saying came early in the set and was delivered well despite early monitor problems. It was one of the fastest songs of the night and also featured some of the most fierce bass playing.
From the band’s third album, and most recent release (Spanish Moss & Total Loss), “Never the Same Way Twice” put the focus on electronic instruments alongside dual live drummers. When done well, dual drumming is one of my favorite sounds and Wednesday night, it powered the beat of nearly every song creating a huge noise that set the tone and got the Schubas crowd moving throughout the set.
There’s no better way to describe Wednesday night’s show than the word “fun.” “Lessons in Disappearing” came late in the set and provided the best example of the band’s ability to craft an electronic music song based around excellent lyrics hiding a theme of isolation amidst vocals distorted through analog vocoder. Make no mistake: despite the great live atmosphere created by Shout Out Out Out Out, there’s some awfully sad lyrical content gurgling just below the danceable surface of these songs.
Over the course of forty-five minutes Wednesday night, Shout Out Out Out Out repeatedly demonstrated their unique ability to deliver what, at their core, are undeniable pop songs drenched in a variety of vastly differing musical influences.