AUTOMELODI, KONTRAVOID, DREAM AFFAIR, DARK AGES and TIERS at Comfort Zone, Saturday, March 2. Rating: NNN
Comfort Zone is mostly known for its infamous Sunday after-party, but the grimy basement venue was a surprisingly good fit for Pretty Pretty Records' first-anniversary bash. Bands that rely heavily on electronics and drum machines often sound tinny at rock clubs, but the Zone's banging dance club sound system easily coped with the dark coldwave and synth-punk beats.
Minimal stage lighting meant the musicians had to work hard to make an impression. The creepy black hood worn by Dark Ages singer Michael Countryman while they cranked out techno/industrial/punk sounds helped with that, and they got the biggest crowd response of the night despite being relatively unknown. Strangely, both NYC bands, Tiers and Dream -Affair, were the most reserved, which didn't help their gloomy post-punk cause.
Due to a late start, the crowd was already starting to thin by the time Kontravoid and Automelodi hit the stage. Nevertheless, their goth/hipster crossover vibes appear to have more legs than anyone could have predicted.