Mass Gothic, Jaenki, and Ex-Mazed @ Riot Room

This Friday at the Riot Room, Mass Gothic, Jaenki, and Ex-Mazed will put on a veritable indie pop smorgasbord. Whether your bag is Mass Gothic’s noise-taming rock, Jaenki’s otherworldy pop, or Ex-Mazed dark electronica, this concert will have something for your current tastes while showing you something that might be left of center. In any case, the Friday show will do more than its fair share of whipping up a twitchy dance party at Riot Room.

I discovered Jaenki after writing about their New Years Eve show with The Conquerors and immediately was hooked to their Cocteau Twins meets Glass Animals type of indie pop. The Kansas City trio does well to create atmospheric pop that hangs from the rigging of their uber-catchy vocal melodies. Truly, if heaven had a sound, it would be Jaenki’s atmospheric pop. The trio has the ability to weave together stunning melodies and driving rhythms. In a time when It’s easy to make one-dimensional pop, Jaenki refuses to flatten their sound. Their songs have a depth that surrounds its listener, which is a must for a live show.

Ex-Mazed blends the jittering electronica of Forest Swords with the dark and brooding tones of Warpaint. The result is music that refuses to sit still. The two songs on their soundcloud burn with an intensity that expands beyond both their synth tracks and vocal melodies–though the juxtaposition between voice and instrument does well to increase this intensity. Ex-Mazed’s music builds its fever pitches from discrete moments. Fragmented without being entirely disjunctive the duo fills the spaces their songs dare to inhabit. Listening to the band’s music is like looking at a giant collage–it may not be an entirely cohesive whole but it is littered with moments that shine.

Mass Gothic’s Sub Pop debut takes the indie pop familiar to fans of Yellow Ostrich and We Are Scientists and adds a more distorted edge. That said, the New York four piece’s songs never stray far from these examples. Blending catchy pop structures with an airy largeness, Mass Gothic gets the best of both worlds so to speak. Their self-titled album, track after, delivers aural gold. Whether you’re a fan of simple pop songs or droning and noisy builds, you’ll find something to love. And this push and pull between aesthetics works double time on stage.

The Riot Room will be brimming with face-melting, dance-inducing indie pop this Friday. Featuring local musicians, Jaenki, and touring bands Ex-Mazed and Mass Gothic, the show is sure to be a must attend event for any fan of indie pop with an electronic backbone. The show starts at 8:30 and is 21+. I cannot think of a better way to spend a Friday than watching these bands do what they do the best.

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