YACHT CLUB and DIGITS at Polyhaus, Friday, January 4. Rating: NNN
There's something cheekily transgressive about Ben Cook (best known as the guitarist for Fucked Up) taking a break from punk rock to front Yacht Club, a band that sounds like a funkier Duran Duran. The fact that he pulls it off musically just makes it funnier, although we're still not sure if we're supposed to be laughing. He already had the swooping hair to match this sound, so maybe smooth 80s synth pop was his endgame plan all along?
Ironic or not, Cook has great stage presence, and the songs are extremely catchy. Even through the battered badly distorted sound system at the Feast In The East loft party, his vocals still sounded confident and slick.
Playing before Yacht Club, Digits struggled more with the muddy sound, as his solo computer pop act had no drum kit or guitar amps to help make up for the shortcomings of the makeshift PA. Nevertheless, his proudly nerdy take on R&B and dance pop has a lot going for it, and brings up fond memories of early Junior Boys recordings.