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      Plague Vendor in Salt Lake City

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      September 30, 2019

      Monday   7:00 PM

      741 Kilby Court
      Salt Lake City, Utah 84101

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      Plague Vendor

      with No Parents, Hibernator
      When Plague Vendor were about make their new album By Night, singer Brandon Blaine didnt exactly know what he wanted it to sound like, but he did know what he wanted it to look like. A house thats falling apart but lit up like crazy, he says now, six months after finishing a record that captures that exact feeling of ruin and regeneration, of charisma and catastrophe and of slashing at the night with nothing but pure electricity. Where 2016s BLOODSWEAT ended with a to-be-continued moment and Blaine shouting Romance! into the silence, By Night ends with a second of feedback and noise. It's a perfectly spent finish to an adrenaline rush of a record that asks, What just happened?Plague Vendor are already used to making nothing into something. Its a place where the only way things happen is if you make them happen. A fearless our-way-is-the-hard-way work ethic and famously physical live shows won the band a ferocious fan base, a flash-bang debut album and place of pride on the Epitaph Records roster. When they called that album BLOODSWEAT they mightve just been explaining what it took to make it. (Or they couldve just been talking about those live shows.) And when they stepped back into the studio in the late summer of 2018, they were ready again to do something new. They spent eleven days locked in at Hollywoods legendary EastWest Studios (Brian Wilson, Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop) with St Vincent/Chelsea Wolfe producer John Congleton, with all visitors banned and all distraction eliminated. (Well, one blood relative has was allowed once.) They had the instinct to delay the sessions until they knew they could get Congleton, and when they met, they connected intensely and instantly, more like co-conspirators than colleagues. They would even complete each others sentences, says drummer Luke Perine. With Congletons precision production, they found their own way between the powerful-but-too-polished sound of right now and the engaging-but-aging reinterpretations of classic punk/rock albums of the 60s and 70. And with Congletons limitless encouragement, they did things Plague Vendor never did before: chorused bass in endless waves, lightning-strike flashes of synth, motorik man-machine drums that sound inhuman and human at once and even a string section thatll be a surprise if they ever do it live.We knew we could trust him to take us as far as we wanted, says Perine, and inspired by the opportunity, the band stretched and warped their songs, discovering a merciless sense of tension and apprehension that set every moment on edge. (Thats how they play live, too, says bassist Michael Perez: Its all a performancebuilding energy and releasing it.) Blaine broke out new vocal ideas, new vocal styles, new depths of imagery and intensity that feel like flashbacks instead of pop songs. If BLOODSWEAT was a primal scream, By Night would be a precision attack. And, says Blaine, I had my ammunition ready. The record starts like youre in the studio with them. Theres a second of chatter to check if youre ready, and Perines drums, Perez bass and Rogers guitar aligning in formation. Then a snap dynamic change and anxious heart-pounding piano as Blaine slides in, out of breath and into a scream before the minute mark. Thats New Comedown, and the rest is just as stark, raw and out of controleven the love songs, when there are love songs. (You gotta have light to have dark, says Blaine.) The brooding All Of The Above is an internal monologue disintegrating over a sci-fi punk drumbeat, while sing-along-gone-wrong Let Me Get High\Low is an infinity mirror of echo, effects, illusion and delusion: Toward the end, says guitarist Jay Rogers, it just gets cinematic. The menacing Night Sweats is like the soundtrack to some kind of crime spree as a cruise through town in a camouflage Cadillac starts to fall apart. Snakeskin Boots is a shattering battle with temptation and closer In My Pocket is a song for the first bleak light of dawnits exhausting and exhilarating at the same time, with a final rush moment that screeches to an instant stop. Think of it as the moment the sun finally comes up, which is exactly when an album called By Night has to end. As Blaine says: Nothing cool happens during the day.

      Cost: 15.00

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