Words by Mike Fournier

The Campaign For Real-Time :: 01.19.06 :: Great Scott :: Allston, MA




The Campaign For Real-Time
I'm not used to being greeted at shows, much less by dudes in suits passing out pamphlets. That's exactly what happened, though, when I walked into Great Scott on Thursday night. There were two guys at the door, looking very Men In Black (I think one of them even had an earpiece), passing out pamphlets explaining that members of Campaign For Real-Time were less than human. The androids, the pamphlet read, were ruining the scene.

I don't know what the pamphlet thing was about. The band's set (which was preceded by Mad Man Films, a three-piece which evokes the skittery post-punk emissions of Hal Al Shedad, and Audible Mainframe, a Fishbone-esque outfit replete with on-stage DJ and horns) didn't seem robotic in the least, though there were plenty of anti-android epithets lobbed at the band from the crowd, presumably by the same guys in suits that passed out the propaganda.

The Campaign For Real-Time
Campaign For Real-Time is something to behold: Rory Stark, the band's frontman/guitarist, looking slick in all black, flanked by Lee "Big Game" Bronson, who plays the amped-out Flavor Flav to Stark's Chuck D., egging the crowd on, leading chants, gently inviting members of prominent Boston bands present to go fuck themselves. On the left side, a guy named Falconer Model 7 (the target of the suited ensemble's abuse) is playing keys, adding soaring vocal harmonies over the electronic pulse of songs like "NFS" off of the band's debut full-length Yes...I Mean, No (available domestically on Curve of The Earth Records and in England on Big Scary Monsters). On the right side, keyboardist Kittie Charlemagne looked every bit the stoic conductor with a frantic flay of limbs, sweat, and Pabst, while drummer Vinnie Krakatoa anchored the band as he bashed away in the back.

I've never heard anything like it - a mix of the immediacy of Fugazi, the proto-bleep of the Talking Heads, and the wordless interplay of the Allman Brothers. The band's encore, "One in the Gut," emphasized the latter: seven minutes of seamless guitar jam over a "Five in One"-esque riff provided by bass player Buckingham ("The Brick"). Simply tagging the band "new wave" or "electronica" doesn't do justice to the genre-defying strands of hip-hop, indie, and jam that get pulled into each song. They're headed to England for a few weeks worth of shows. Try and catch 'em when they get back.

The Campaign For Real Time tour dates available here.

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[Published on: 2/6/06]

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