After hearing Kinch's new EP, The Economic Chastisement (review here), I was a little worried the boys were going soft on us. Chastisment is a solid CD, but it's so much softer than their previous effort, the album Advances, it was hard for me to get as excited about it. All three songs on the EP were good, but I was concerned Kinch was giving up on Brian Coughlin's crunchy guitars solos. No need to worry, judging by last night's CD release party.
Kinch brought a little bit of everything to the stage at the sold-out Modified Arts, seamlessly transitioning from piano ballads to cocky rock songs that remind me more and more of vintage Blur -- then back again.
Starting off with the moody title track from the EP they were releasing (everyone in attendance got a copy, in a stylish cardboard sleeve) the crowd was subdued but attentive. For me, things really got started with "Fare Forward," the first song off Advances, which petty much runs the breadth of the band's sound, and has a great little chorus. The harder-edged "All I Done" also sounded great.
The highlight of the night, though, was pianist Andrew Junker bringing his Uncle Timmy on stage to sing a folkie track in honor of his birthday. They band went acoustic sans amp, and the crowd kept quiet enough to hear Junker, Coughlin and Timmy harmonize.
It was a great show, right down to the encore, "Mempis," which Junker played with drummer Jake Malone and a few shakes of tamborine from Coughlin.
Few things are more satisfying for fans of local music than witnessing a band blossom, getting better every time you see them, and that's where Kinch is right now. If you're not watching yourself, you ought to be.
Last Night: Kinch EP release party
Better Than: Having to watch two past-their-prime national acts play after Kinch.
Personal Bias: I'm on the record as being a big fan, having named Advances Phoenix's record of the year last year.
Random Detail: Being a professional soda reviewer, I'm always happy to see venues stock more than Coke or Pepsi. Last night their Blue Rasperry Jolt came in handy for my sleepy plus 1, which was much appreciated.
Further Listening: The Economic Chastisement.
By the Way: Check out Waved Rumor's review of the show, with pictures.