Live Review

The Depreciation Guild, Webster Hall, NY

Hopefully, The Depreciation Guild will further explore the marriage of electronics and guitars.

What is there to say about The Depreciation Guild? At face value: asymmetrical haircuts, cardigans, fans of My Bloody Valentine. With the current resurgence of a certain shoe-gaze aesthetic, these guys should be famous in no time, right? At least among certain circles.

At first blush, The Depreciation Guild have spent too much time listening to Loveless while staring at the cover. Live, they work from the MBV cookbook: Keep it loud, and keep it swathed in a haze of distortion and guitar effects. Sing in your best possible androgynous voice and you’ve baked yourself the perfect cake of idolatry.

With only two guitarists, a drummer, and an electronics set-up based on the Nintendo 8 bit sound card, it’s impressive that The Guild can create such a torrent of sound. However, as one of three bands playing this evening, The Depreciation Guild is the only one that holds the honor of playing while an audience member takes pictures of herself and her friends acting like they are enjoying the show more than they actually are.

The best parts of DG’s live show manifest themselves when the band’s electronic rig is foregrounded against the swell and crash of electric guitars. Their ample manipulation of the Nintendo game system’s simple sound chip is impressive. Using the chip as a foundation for beat and melody exploration serves the band well and breaks from the MBV template of their predecessors. At times the electronics whisk into the atmospheric - at moments inextricable from the distortion of guitars and at others complementary to the tune.

Hopefully, The Depreciation Guild will further explore the marriage of electronics and guitars, circling through influence to inspiration, bringing their love of the past to the present.

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