Out Hud with Hella at the Horseshoe (368 Queen West), Sunday (April 10). $10. 416-598-4753. Rating: NNNNN
Notice: Out Hud is not like !!!. Not even close. Phyllis Forbes doesn't understand why people can't see this.
"We're two totally separate bands. If people listen to the records they'll hear two totally different sounds," she says on the phone from her Brooklyn pad, which she shares with bandmates Nic Offer and Justin Vandervolgen, who are also in !!!
Forbes says some people get confused by Out Hud's relationship with !!!, or they just lump them with dance/punk collectives like LCD Soundsystem, which their bassist, Tyler Pope, just joined.
"When we were in Europe, people were imagining this huge music collective of all these type of bands. It's not like we're calling up the guys in the Rapture to bounce ideas off of."
While everyone is trying to understand the world of IDM, Out Hud has moved beyond that realm. Their constant experimenting and John Lydon approach to genres make them tough to label. Because they fuse together sounds of jazz-funk, post-rock and disco, even Forbes has a hard time describing her band's sound.
"If Out Hud had to have a label it would be the absence of labels. I don't think we subscribe to any particular genre of sounding, being or dressing."
What some people come up with when trying to explain Out Hud is pretty funny. On All Music Guide's website, Forbes isn't even identified as a band member, but as a drum machine named Phyllis.
"I have no idea what they're talking about. It's a straight-out lie. Half the time journalists compare us to bands I've never even fucking heard of."
Though Forbes has put down her sticks for dubbed-in drum tracks on their newest album, Let Us Never Speak Of It Again, she dominates the record with her sly vocals mixed with dub beats and structured jams, a much more electronic sound than Street Dad. Their danceable style sticks out among the drone acts on their obscure Chicago label, Kranky, a home they feel meets their need to experiment.
Like their pals !!!, Out Hud have brought dancing back to concerts. Forbes says cutting loose can be a political act - as political as their track Dear Mr. Bush, There Are Over 100 Words For Shit And Only 1 For Music, Fuck You, Out Hud. If dancing to that ain't political, then I dunno what is.
"We felt like if you're gonna make an offering to the world for people to benefit from, at least make it something good and true. If this is what he has to offer as president, war and killing thousands of people, then this is what Out Hud has to offer."
So dance, motherfucker, dance!