Since recently becoming a four-piece, Kalacoma have faced the exciting (and likely terrifying) prospect of completely redeveloping their live sound, sans drummer, and what better way to work out the kinks of a new lineup than with a month long residency. On Wednesday night I checked out their third of four shows at The Workers Club.

I was late to arrive and, completely unexpectedly, I caught the end of Costa’s set. While I certainly found it interesting, I’m almost relieved I didn’t see the whole thing. Alone on stage, his music was sample and live looping based, avant-garde shoegaze. I really enjoyed the groove he had going in the loop and he definitely got some amazing sounds out of his guitar but it unfortunately seemed to lack cohesion, most likely because I came in part way through.

Mayfair Kytes, in their three piece acoustic format, brought a totally different vibe to the room. Stripping back their normally experimental pop songs to a somewhat indie folk sound worked brilliantly, not least of all due to the amazing vocals delivered by frontmen Matt Kelly and Austin Busch. Their harmonies weren’t always what would be expected which made them all the more beautiful to behold, and when adding the third part they became nothing short of sublime. By using the guitar as percussion, switching from keys to guitar and throwing in some acapella sections they managed to keep the entire set thoroughly interesting.

With more equipment than both of their support acts combined, Kalacoma took the stage and started strong. Using a combination of pre-recorded and live loops, as well as a drum machine for good measure, Nick Herrera and Alan Erpi created some exceptionally complex beats but that was only a part of what made their music so brilliant. The constant, deep groove of Benjamin Tansey’s bass was the glue that held everything together and, combined with the wail of Marin Sekesan’s guitar, takes their music to the next level, and that’s without mentioning Herrera’s brilliance as a vocalist. At the end of the third song, someone voiced everyone’s collective opinion, as their appreciative shout of “Fuck yeah!” floated across the crowd.

Kalacoma’s music has a certain uniqueness so, while it’s definitely possible to nail down several influences, nothing sounds even remotely like blatant imitation. It really makes all the difference given that, for a lot of people, the genre of trip-rock is a bit of a hard sell. None of those people though were there on Wednesday though, with the crowd certainly not ready for the show to end even as the final note decayed to near silence. Only once Herrera signaled it was over did the audience give their final applause.

Wes Fahey

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