From Iceland — Bob and Coral at Bar 11, Thursday 16 June, 10 pm.

Bob and Coral at Bar 11, Thursday 16 June, 10 pm.

Published June 24, 2005

Bob and Coral at Bar 11, Thursday 16 June, 10 pm.
Atli Bollason

A loud droning sound filled the second floor from the new stage at Bar 11. Gradually, it got fuller made richer with cymbal swirls and bass notes. This was Bob’s first number; applauded by the late-to-arrive crowd. Bob’s ability to electronically manipulate a chord having been tested, the rest of their programme consisted of more structured songs, some even featuring vocals.
Bob’s little sound machines played a large role; skewing sounds, ripping them apart and putting them back together. However, the gig was not a simple sound orgy, but rather a fine example of a great band.
Bob’s songs are rooted in the adventurous indie rock of Sonic Youth but also bear a resemblance to more dreamy acts such as Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine. Tempo and meter changes are no problem for Bob, and going from A to B to C to D without looking back for a chorus or a replay is quite normal in Bob’s world. Amazingly, they pull it off without ever making you look the other way. But all those delays and other stuff have a price; the price of configuration. Bob allowed themselves up to three minutes between songs to twiddle knobs and press buttons, a very frustrating experience for listeners and viewers alike. Once they get that cleared up Bob will be one of the best bands in town.

Coral are better known locally, having put out a self-titled EP a few years back and having a song in cinematic catastrophe Gemsar. For their first couple of songs singer/guitarist Gunnar obviously had troubles with his voice, stretching it in a way that didn’t sound good or healthy. But by the third number, “This Dark Globe”, Coral found its note. The song started with a charged Muse-like riff, going from verse to chorus and back for a few minutes, before blowing up and out into an improvised twenty-minute freak-out groove.

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