Live: Quasi @ Captain’s Rest, Glasgow

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After an hour-long set from hipsters Dead Meadow with songs containing increasingly long almost psychedelic jam sessions in the middle (as one over-eager heckler said, “Take that and some hallucinogenic drugs”), the crowd at Glasgow’s cramped Captain’s Rest seemed more than a little exhausted. But it took no time at all for Oregon-based alt-rockers Quasi to bring the mood back to almost frantic.

In contrast to the opening band’s expansive sound, Quasi focused on playing tight, catchy but heavy and powerful songs. Both bands were very layered considering their size – Quasi has only three members. They mostly played tracks from their American Gong album released earlier this year, with the shaky shouted chorus and grunge guitar of ‘Repulsion’ being the best received on the night. As the night went on, much like the first act, Quasi began to draw their songs out more and more. The band originally made a name for themselves with political lyrics but increasingly seem focused on the music as a whole, as the stretching-out of their old songs proved.

The Captain’s Rest is a fairly small and incredibly low-ceilinged venue, and there were some issues with the sound levels throughout the show. Dead Meadow adjusted the vocal volume after a first song which was totally drowned out by the guitar and drums, but both bands still struggled to not let the instruments swamp the singers for the rest of the night. Mostly, however, they were successful, and there were no problems during the many instrumental sections. Former Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss was especially accomplished in keeping the songs tight throughout.

Oregon has delivered blends of folk, country, and rock before – often, as in the case of Todd Snider, in the one act. Quasi have spent more than a decade proving themselves as another example, marrying a full sounding rock with a more easy-going twang, and right now seem to be on top of their game.

Words: Michael Ferns

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