The Opposite of What You Would Call Ordinary
"Next World War"
Mount Pleasant rock quartet Ko might be the best local band you've never heard of. After stumbling into a recent gig at the Map Room, I found myself skeptically clutching a burned copy of their debut album The Opposite of What You Would Call Ordinary. I was pleasantly surprised. The political overtones feel trite at times, and lead singer Brian Hannon's falsetto is overused, but musically Opposite is clean, diverse, and very promising. Ko's greatest strength is Hannon's confident, distinctive voice that lends a compelling power to their songs, and on Opposite he manages more than a few moments of lyrical elegance. Aside from the rough production quality (think: four guys, one mic, your mom's basement), Opposite is an impressively coherent record that gets better by the spin. (www.myspace.com/ko1). —Josh Eboch
Ko shares the bill with The Physics of Meaning at the Village Tavern on Sat. May 10.
All Get Out
"Water and God"
From the three snare drum flams, chiming power chords, and synthesizer melody in the intro of kick-off song "Water & God" through the roomy echoes of the piano ballad "Three More, I Guess" (featuring guest vocalist Chelsea Logue), local quartet All Get Out's new mini-album Spitting EP is characterized by a modern take on a classic, '90s indie rock style. While the dynamic power-pop of "Water & God" resembles some of the more upbeat stuff by the likes of Superchunk, Yo La Tengo, and Seam, the more dramatic and urgent "Like a Child" rocks as hard as anything on the Touch & Go label's back catalog. Anthemic tune "The EC" jerks and herks a bit more like Modest Mouse's recent hits. Recorded at Express Studio in Charlotte, Spitting sounds professional — clean in the right places, but unglossy in the right ways. The clever interplay between guitarists Nathan Hussey and Mel Washington colors the tight rhythm work of drummer Gordon Keiter and bassist Mike Rogers. It's a worthy effort and a surprisingly strong debut from an up-and-coming act. (www.myspace.com/loudasallgetout). —T. Ballard Lesemann
All Get Out share the stage with Dingan and The Devil & The Lion at the Map Room on Thurs. May 29.