4/8/14 – The Sinclair

As I watched the Interlopers play at The Sinclair in Harvard Square last Tuesday night, I found myself wondering whether Berklee College of Music teaches a class on how to make great faces during gigs. This thought surfaced while watching Nick Veinoglou spin out a guitar solo— he looked like he was having a wordless conversation with his instrument. I also had trouble keeping my eyes off of drummer Curtis Kelley, who crinkled his eyebrows, stuck out his tongue, and shook his head back and forth, all while keeping up a steady beat and singing lead.

The band, a self-proclaimed “young, organic, smile and joy-inducing musical organism… barely old enough to drink,” started as a group of high-school friends making music together in their basements. Their professionalism gave no hint to these humble beginnings, and I admired their energy and proficiency with their instruments. It’s always nice to see a band with chops. The drums, guitar, keyboard, bass, trumpet, and saxophone wove in and out of each other effortlessly. Most importantly, none of the band members stepped on each other’s toes, as can sometimes happen with a group of well-trained musicians.

It was clear that the Interlopers were trying hard to energize the audience, and they succeeded. I had little trouble grooving along to their upbeat set, which defied single-genre characterization. The main melodies and refrains were mostly in pop-rock fashion, but often took unexpected turns that were more evocative of jazz. Improv solos ranged in style from rock to funk, and brought a little bit of kick to the music.

What I thought that the Interlopers needed were a few more hooks in their songs. I never know exactly how I’m going to feel about a show until the next day; it’s only after I’ve gotten a bit of distance from the band that I know whether they’ve really made an impression on me. Granted, I had a great time and found myself singing along, but when I got home I couldn’t remember the melodies. They just didn’t stick. This may be because the fusion style tried to do too much— while the jazzy changes were interesting, they often broke into the chorus of a song just when it was getting catchy.

As a currently unsigned group, the Interlopers should focus on tightening their songs to tease out the hooks that float just tantalizingly out of reach. Having said that, they were a great band to see live. You can catch them on their summer tour. With their infectious energy, they would be perfect to see on a date — it’d be hard not to dance with whomever is nearest to you.

Technical Fusion: The Interlopers
Pros
  • Energy
  • Technical skill
Cons
  • Needed more hooks to make them memorable
6.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (2 Votes)
8.0

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