I come from a generation where, if you grew up as a somewhat nerdy shut-in with an overactive imagination, you knew that true power lay worlds beyond the playground hustle. We knew about augmented reality. We watched enough Power Rangers, read enough X-Men, played enough Mega Man, and logged enough time in the still-unregulated frontiers of the 56k-era internet to know better. Our human avatars might have been woefully inadequate, but we knew that if we could harness the right kind of technology, transcendence would be ours. We could be cyborgs. We could be unstoppable.
Maybe that's why I get weirdly excited whenever a band comes onstage and starts fortifying themselves with complex structures of synths, samplers, and loop pedals -- I always hope they're building a megazord. SISTER CRAYON sure is. And in this past Saturday's Power Rangers vs Godzilla showdown, where the Sacramento-based four-piece is Dragonzord and the weird vibes at Church Boston are Godzilla, Sister Crayon killed.
After announcing that I was going to see a band called "Sister Crayon" got met across the board with "I didn't know you liked twee" and "dude, why," I did my research and found out that lead singer Terra Lopez once wrote a letter to Bianca Casady (of CocoRosie) while high and signed it "Sister Crayon." No word on whether she got a response, but she did get a band name out of it, and I will defend to the death anything even remotely related to the Casady sisters.
Not that Sister Crayon would ever need to defend themselves to anyone who's ever actually heard their more appropriately named 2011 album, Bellow. The tracks on it, especially standouts "And Glass…" and "(In) Reverse," are full-blown Portishead without a hint of Tilly and the Wall -- electronic, baroque, R&B-tinged, dreamy on record, absolutely massive live. Dani Fernandez lays down trip-hop beats and Terra Lopez thrashes around on stage like she's tapping into Slipknot's energy reserves to fuel her Jeff-Buckley-eats-the-opera powerhowl.
The band's been on tour since March and came through to Boston in the middle of a residency at Piano's in NYC which, according to the Twitter response, has been consistently intense. When they come back to Sacramento, they're going to put the finishing touches on a new album, with Stereogum already having previewed the debut track, "Arcane." Basically the future looks bright, and now we can be reassured that when the cyborg revolution comes, it'll be one you can dance to.