Grimace Federation, Knitting Factory- 7/19
Packing two drummers, two guitarists, a bassist, and a vibraphonist on a tiny stage
may provide for visual clutter, but in the case of the Grimace Federation there
is infinite space in their musical delivery. Providing a brief yet engrossing performance
at the Knitting Factory’s main stage, this young Philadelphia sextet gave a glimpse
into the future of what live music can ultimately become. Grimace can be likened
to a theatrical performance, two drummers situated front and center facing each
other, battling their kits with utmost ferocity, dually syncopated with precision.
A vibraphonist switching back and forth between keys and his mallets while two guitarists
stand back juxtaposed by a bassist. It’s visually stunning, a modern Stomp sans
tap dancing but packed with just as much directed energy.
As exciting as it was to watch Grimace Federation, the band’s music was even more
captivating. It’s smooth and mellifluous, something that would provide for a soundtrack
to everyday life (on a nice and sunny day at least). Opening with "Prog Fuck
Core," Grimace immediately showed their musical prowess. There were no segues,
every song was exact, stripped down to the core and then layered for maximum effectiveness.
Showing the crowd that they could expand from their original instrumental style,
Grimace Federation delved into the Peter, Bjorn, and John cover "Young Folks."
Their spin was fun and engaging, the entire crowd was receptive to it, yet few were
aware of its origins. In fact there was little that distinguished it from Grimace’s
original tunes. It’s a remarkable thing when a band develops its own unique and
discernible sound at the beginning of its career. That is precisely what Grimace
Federation has accomplished. Concluding their disturbingly short forty-five minute
show with "5,6,7,9," the band left their fans eager for more. Unfortunately,
these boys weren’t even the headliners, yet forty-five minutes was all it took for
Grimace Federation to win over the Knitting Factory. I can only imagine what they
could do to New York City with a full show.