Windish Agency Highlights: We Barbarians, Purity Ring, Small Black

Last night the Windish Agency held a showcase for some of their bands at Mercury Lounge. It was a somewhat eclectic lineup, and included BestNewBands.com favorites like Cuckoo Chaos and Gauntlet Hair, but also some new standouts. Highlights below.

We Barbarians yell Windish Agency Highlights: We Barbarians, Purity Ring, Small Black

We Barbarians bass Windish Agency Highlights: We Barbarians, Purity Ring, Small Black

We Barbarians exploded onto the stage with so much energy and force that they made the last couple bands before look like they were sleep performing. Singer/guitarist David Quon and bassist Derek Vanheule jumped all over the stage and screamed their lyrics in their mics, while drummer Nathan Warkentin hit the kick drum so hard it kept pushing forward despite the cinder block with additional weights placed in front. “Strange Overtones” was an especially standout song, along with another inspired by David Byrne and Brian Eno. Here’s another:

And now for something completely different: the future-pop of Purity Ring. This is more of an electronic performance art duo who set the scene with a curtain behind them, a kick drum on a stand that vocalist Megan James plays like a gong, and a table with electronic pipes. Pipes like what you would find under your sink, but with what seemed to be mini drum pads on the end that Corin Roddick hit with sticks and got different tones out of. They also had synchronized lighting that created shadows of their silhouettes, forcing the crowd to listen and feel more than watch.

Purity Ring Megan kick Windish Agency Highlights: We Barbarians, Purity Ring, Small Black

Purity Ring Corin Windish Agency Highlights: We Barbarians, Purity Ring, Small Black

Purity Ring Megan Spooky Windish Agency Highlights: We Barbarians, Purity Ring, Small Black

Next up, in a somewhat more similar vein was Small Black. If Purity Ring was more about ambiance and mystery, Small Black was about the dance party. The band is made up of four guys who are influenced by 80s synth pop, and throw in some funk and hip hop elements that really work the crowd.  The lights were bright, and beats were pumping hard, There was one more band slated to go on after them, but Small Black’s set really felt like the zenith of the night.

Small Black Windish Agency Highlights: We Barbarians, Purity Ring, Small Black

Small Black rap Windish Agency Highlights: We Barbarians, Purity Ring, Small Black

Small Black rhythm Windish Agency Highlights: We Barbarians, Purity Ring, Small Black

All Photos (c) Kelly Knapp