Ever wonder what it would sound like if a Transformer had an orgasm? Neither did I.
What I experienced on Friday night at The Echo evoked that very question and its answer when Baths took the stage before a hometown crowd. The crunchy beats and glitchy construction at the heart of Baths’ music doesn’t always present an obvious way to dance along, even if it compels constant movement. When they’ve gotten you to let your guard down, when you’ve gotten into a good dancing groove, that’s when the tectonic plates start shifting. Will and Morgan start disrupting things, tangling the layers and fraying their connective tissue. The friction they create gives birth to designed defects, igniting a frenzied growth of uncertainty. The lights are strobing, and it sounds like sparks should be flying as the innards of the mixers and speakers are being forcibly rearranged with the most honest of intentions. It’s this trusted exploration and sense of adventure that sounds like a Transformer’s climax:
In it’s deepest moments, flashes of the cozy construction that begin it all emerge for seconds, like a mirage — before vanishing. Teasing the return to cool and refreshing clarity. As cool as you can be at the center of a kinetic crowd mid-set.
In the landscape of sometimes thrashing, sometimes head bobbing, other times bass thumping music as the backdrop, Will’s vocal performance provides the focus. When he’s cooing over beats, threading the needling with his luminescent falsetto introversions, I imagine his voice like the lone candle light in the basement as the storm rages outside. The hope and the warmth shouldering the weight of the worry. But do not make the mistake of confusing him as someone to merely aid in weathering the storm, sometimes he sings like he’s conjuring one. Their closer “No Eyes” is a prime example of this. As the song peaks, Will bursts into a yell, with every cell in his body exerting maximum effort, like he’s shouting the rite of exorcism. At the moment their impassioned ultimate track concluded, the demon driven out for now, Will’s caloric reservoir had been depleted of all will to hold on, and he literally dropped the mic.