The outside stage at Empire Control Room was buzzing with electricity. Five outstanding bands had been playing since 7:30. Feedback Alliance provided the between set beats while East Cameron Folkcore brought their brand of layered folk rock to the inside stage.
Everyone was stoked to hear headliner Quiet Company blow away East 7th with their signature brand of guitar driven indie rock. A celebration of their new record Transgressor, the band’s February 21st release concert featured new music and old favorites from a bonafide ATX original.
Forged in the fires of the mid-2000’s East Texas music scene, Quiet Company has seen a number of changes through the course of four studio albums. The brain child of lead singer Taylor Muse, Quiet Company has grown from a one man show on a Christian label to the four piece featured on Transgressor.
This evolution was reflected in the band’s set list. Quiet Company opened the show with “A Nation of Two,” a piano driven crowd pleaser, followed by fan favorite “You, Me & the Boatman” off 2011’s We Are All Where We Belong. A four on the floor anthem in the style of Arcade Fire, the opening numbers set off an evening of pure energy.
The rest of the set featured an introspective combination of Weezer-eqse guitar chords and sing-along hooks. Quiet Company’s sound is pure rock and roll fun. However, emotional questions of faith, forgiveness and the nature of love live behind the veneer of good times. It’s pleasant enough to rock to, yet deep enough to feel.
The New Record
As expected, the band’s set featured a number of songs from new record Transgressor. Tighter and more focused than 2011’s sprawling We Are All Where We Belong, the album features a welcome blend of tight guitar fuzz, electronic flourishes and introspective lyrics.
Standout tracks include the scorching album opener “Seven Hells,” the electronically backed “The Virgin’s Apartment” and “Kindness,” an acoustic number Ben Gibbard would be proud of. If it were thirty beats per minute slower, it would be the “first dance” song at my upcoming wedding.
Transgressor’s first single is the upbeat and energetic “Understand the Problem.” Backed by a stinging guitar riff and Muse’s expressive vocals, the tune is infectious ear candy. Smart rock program directors should immediately add this to their radio rotation.
After an hour of heartfelt, expressive music, Quiet Company put the bow on the evening with a rollicking performance of “Preaching to the Choir Invisible, Part 1.” It was the perfect choice. An unrelenting tidal wave of a song, the piece built to a shout along of epic proportions. Muse jumped into the crowd, the trumpets soared and the world felt full and fantastic.
And that’s the best way to describe a Quiet Company show. Full, fun and emotionally uplifting. With Transgressor, the band has captured their live energy in a tightly constructed package. When the lights came on and the room begged for more, Muse apologized to the crowd for Austin’s midnight noise curfew. No worries, Taylor. We left satisfied, our heads humming with a new crop of infectious, expressive music.
Transgressor is currently available in CD, vinyl and digital formats here. Shows, merch and all other info can be found at quietcompanymusic.com.
@BillTuckerTSP wants to know:
What’s your favorite Quiet Company tune?
All images courtesy of Holp Photography unless otherwise noted.