Face Of The Sun @ Pianos (5/15/2011)

Face Of The Sun is a relatively new band in New York City’s underground music scene and they might be interesting to those fans of drummer Brian Viglione (who many might know from The Dresden Dolls).  I was directed to them by one of the many rising stars that I am fortunate enough to meet as a journalist and at her directive I made sure to be in place for the bands performance at Piano’s on the Lower East Side.  This is an intimate club when it comes down to it, and smack dab in the middle of a very active music and restaurant scene.  While I was down there I made sure to visit the relatively new Idle Hands bar and also down some tasty Mexican grub at San Loco.  Once the physical appetite and thirst were sated it was time to get the musical jones attended to by walking into Piano’s.  To read the full on concert report just scroll past the bands logo below; Then I urge you to keep on scrolling down the blog post to see some side images and even some video that are easily enjoyed here.  We hope that you like this.

Artist: Face Of The Sun
Venue: Pianos (New York, NY)
Opener: Papertwin
Date: 5/15/2011
Label: Independent Artist

May had proven to be a rocking one in my humble opinion as bands like Amon Amarth and UFO had already delivered some musical justice to the Big Apple and now as the weekend closed up and set in motion a two week bit of activity chaos I decided to check out something I had absolutely no idea about at a venue I had never before visited. The reason for the visit was to check out a new band called Face Of The Sun and this is a new project that features drummer Brian Viglione from The Dresden Dolls. Depending on what kind of music you follow, you might not actually know of the Dolls despite their strong cult following, but this new group would be a totally different direction in terms of material and presentation. Today my friends we were on the ground floor of something new and potentially exciting. I mentioned that this was also my first time at Piano’s and let me explain the place a little for you in case you had interest. The venue is located on Ludlow Street and is right near The Cake Shop, The Living Room and Arlene’s Grocery. If you are a fan of live music you will certainly be able to get your fill between these spaces. Upon entering Piano’s you first find a full bar and the venue is located in the rear and is separated by a glass door. The cover to hit the club is generally anywhere from $8 to $12 depending on the act. Tonight’s show was $10.

When I arrived at Piano’s I appeared to be one of the first who was there to enjoy the live music portion of the night as there was some standup comedy going on and everyone was sitting down enjoying that. Interestingly enough, it was the female comedienne Lynn Koplitz who some music fans might remember as being a cast member on the “Z-Rock” television program that aired on IFC about a year ago. That was the show that featured the Brooklyn based Hard Rock band ZO2. Arriving middle set, I found that her jokes were strictly based on the male anatomy and some were funny. She related the idea of not being circumcised as having a wiener that was wearing a snuggie. She was also enjoying some repartee back and forth with a German couple who were sitting on the benches in the front row. After she finished her set the benches and chairs were moved out of the way so the bands could roll in their gear and set up. I introduced myself to Lynn as a music journalist who had seen her on the show and it seems as though the program had run its course and would not be coming back. No worries, our musical friends of ZO2 are resourceful cats that do a lot of stuff so it’s not the last we will hear of them.

The first band of the night came up with the guys in Papertwin and while I was not too up on them myself I still managed to enjoy what they were doing on the stage. It was not a Hard Rock or Metal vibe at all but more of an Electro-Melodic Pop that had some darkness to it at points. There were moments in their set that they reminded me of both The Cure and Depeche Mode so I guess it’s safe to say that if you enjoy either of those two bands that you might like what Papertwin is all about. They are a four piece unit with guitar, bass, keys and drums but at a few points during the set all three of the front musicians did some keyboards. The drummer also played along to additional percussion via a loop of some kind and I had to say that I didn’t see the need for it since he was playing along solidly. I must be missing something in the reason for this. Please look into them as I am sure they would appreciate your attention. They had a decent amount of fans for their set and like we observe in many clubs like Piano’s and even Arlene’s Grocery, people are there for one or two acts and then leave right after they finish. Now for the reason I was here.

It was a little after 11pm when Face Of The Sun were ready to go and I discovered that this was only the bands second show in their existence but they had already wisely recorded some music and were making that available tonight for their fans and friends and also via a Bandcamp.com page. The projects core creative side is of course Viglione who does the drumming and Ron Arra Jr. who handles the lead vocals, samples and keyboards. For the live gigs the pair is joined by guitarist Scott Matalon and bassist Chris Eskola. I learned afterward that Chris played some bass on their debut recordings and would likely be more of a contributor as future music is hammered out. That made Scott an axe-slinger for hire tonight and I can’t think that this is a bad thing since there is always a need for someone who can do the job properly. The guys began the show with the song “The Fight” and since there is only one album so far the entire set would be the chance to enjoy practically the whole thing in the live sense. “Walking Angel” was next up and then Ron spoke to the crowd saying how the next song “Earthquake” was very topical as to what had recently transpired in the Far East part of the world. The sound was heavy and at times a brooding thing with an intensity that I enjoy. The drumming was being delivered with finesse and a powerful style. It was great to see just how differently Brian was playing the kit because he kind of sticks with the standard four on the floor style in most of his Dresden Dolls work. With tonight’s show he was proving to the fans that there is much more to him as a musician than one might think. He was doing some justice on a beautiful Yamaha four piece kit this evening.

During a couple of the tunes Ron sang through a microphone that from a distance looked like one of those old CB radio mics. It was plugged into the effects and allowed his voice to be different when it was necessary. Interesting to say the least. If I had to label the band I would give this a genre analysis of being on the Experimental Noise Progressive Rock side or something like that. There were really no easy comparisons to draw since it was so new to my ears but if you like bands that are akin to Kylesa and maybe even in some sense groups like My Bloody Valentine then this might intrigue you a bit. It surely cannot hurt to check out something new for only $10 right? The only thing that I don’t like is when people only come for the one act. Over the last couple of years some site associates and myself had purposely arrived earlier to see what else was being offered up and have not regretted a second of it. An important thing to remember for shows like this is to let the “innkeeper” know who you are there to see so they check off the band’s name as the audience arrives. That is how they get paid out.

When midnight struck the mood shifted to a more celebratory one as it was officially drummer Brian’s birthday. The audience helped the band sing along and even though the song was for him, Brian offered up some drums as accompaniment. Fans had even brought him little cakes and chocolate which is always nice to see happening. After the gig the band members mingled with their friends and the well-wishers for the new project. It has some promise and it just goes to show you that you should listen to your friend’s recommendations sometimes. I was very glad that I listened to my charming singer friend about this one for sure. The band is currently unsigned but their music can be purchased and enjoyed via their Bandcamp.com page. Try to catch them if they come around your area as its money well spent.

Some video was shot of the set and is available for your enjoyment on the Official YouTube Channel for PiercingMetal.com HERE. I’ll embed the clips down below but please come and “Subscribe” to that channel so you know you want more clips of this kind.

Set List:
1. The Fight
2. Walking Angel
3. Earthquake
4. Cotton Candybar
5. Shapeshifter
6. Rain Won’t Stop
7. Evermine
8. Psychic Gravity
9. The Lives Of Man
10. Can It

There was no real “marquee” to speak of as we usually get at the B.B. King or Gramercy Theatre shows, so I apologize.  I didn’t know of a flyer either as I would have presented that for your viewing pleasure if I saw one.  Instead here are some of the side images of the bands technical stuff that would be used to entertain us all.  There were a lot of guitar and voice effects things being employed tonight.  Here is a sample of them.

The Effects of the Face Of The Sun

First up, this killer Yamaha drum kit.  Five drums with about the same in cymbals.  It did the trick without question.

The Drums of Brian Viglione

And one more “artsy” shot of the drum stuff.  Don’t mind me, I like to experiment with visuals from time to time.

Vic Firth Weaponry

As I mentioned above, I had filmed a few videos during the set with the Panasonic Lumix camera in order to give you a little better idea about the band. The club is not all that large so I was rather close and it is very, very dark.  That setting worked out well for the group, but did not for someone who wanted to deliver a high quality visual presentation to their readership.    Despite the visual issues, the sound came out great on these and that is all that matters in a band.  How do they sound?  You judge for yourself.

I also shot the song “Rain Won’t Stop” and please be aware that both of these songs are available on the bands debut self-titled album. You can get a copy of this on their official Bandcamp Site HERE.

When midnight struck it was drummer Brian Viglione’s birthday so the guitarist announced that everyone knew the words to the next song and their help was needed.

I’ll def be checking them out again in the future and hope that its a bright one for this hard edged project. Oh and before I forget here is a clip of the opening band Papertwin. I am sorry that I do not recall the name of the song that they were doing in this clip.

Official Website: www.faceofthesun.bandcamp.com

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