Entries in Les Rhinoceros (2)


Les Rhinocéros at Lilypad, Cambridge MA 6.13.12

Words // Sarah V

I'm always pleased when a band I like decides to play Lilypad; partly because it's an eclectic and intimate space with a decent sound system that makes for a good concert setting, and partly because no matter how lazy I am feeling or how hard it is raining, I can always convince myself to take that five-minute stroll down the street and go there for a show. This week, Washington, D.C.-based Les Rhinocéros graced us with a visit and played a late Wednesday night set.

I've been a fan of theirs since picking up their self-titled debut album last year, so I was happy to get a chance to see them here in the neighborhood. I wasn't really sure what to expect from a live set; their album seems very studio-oriented, so I wasn't sure if they would try to recreate that feel live or go in a different direction. The answer was a little bit of both: they had a surprisingly wide array of electronics and pedals to recreate a lot of the ambient sounds, noise, and samples that they used in the studio, but they still managed to really blow the roof off with a loud and high-energy set. They played rock- and jazz-inspired instrumentals with fairly heavy drums and some catchy bass lines, along with interludes of quieter, more ambient music. Filling out the quartet were a saxophone and a violin (which sometimes sounded like it was meant to be an unusual substitute for an electric guitar).

Only about half the set was drawn from their album, the other half was (presumably) newer music as yet unreleased. It was interesting to hear hints of what their second album might sound like - I'm looking forward to hearing their music evolve.

Les Rhinocéros is continuing their tour for another dozen or so dates; if you are interested in hearing some creative new music like nothing you've never heard before, check them out!  If you can't make it to one of their live sets, check out the recording of their Cambridge concert below.

Les Rhinocéros
June 13, 2012
Lilypad - Cambridge, MA

Bea Spiders
Mark it 8
Unknown title

Upcoming dates:

JUNE 20th - Chicago, IL @ TOWNSHIP
JUNE 21st - Bloomington, IN @ RACHAEL'S CAFE
JUNE 22nd - Nashville, TN @ NOA NOA HOUSE
JUNE 23rd - Asheville, NC @ BOBO GALLERY
JUNE 25th - Chapel Hill, NC @ NIGHTLIGHT
JUNE 26th - Charlottesville, VA @ TEA BAZAAR
JUNE 27th - Baltimore, MD @ SECRET SHOW
JULY 1st - Brooklyn, NY @ LITTLEFIELD
JULY 10th - Washington, DC @ BLACK CAT


Review: Les Rhinocéros - Self-titled

Words // Sarah V.

Les Rhinocéros' self-titled debut album was the first release in indie label Tzadik's new Spotlight Series - a series of albums meant to throw a spotlight on some young up-and-coming musicians who are making adventurous new music. Les Rhinos fit the bill perfectly: a group of teenagers who are making some of the most creative music you'll hear this year. Their exact genre is difficult to pin down, with equal parts rock, jazz, and ambient with bits of world music, noise, and even a little circus music sneaking in. The instrumentation is unusually diverse, incorporating your standard rock-band stuff (guitar, piano, drums, bass) as well as strings, brass, noise-making toys, loops and samples.

The album starts off quietly, with birds chirping and a calm recitation of a somewhat surreal poem involving rhinoceroses. The rest of the album is mostly instrumental, about equally divided between fun, upbeat tracks and more reflective pieces that have more of a focus on  ambience and texture. With these slow, dreamy interludes, Les Rhinocéros is an album that wants to be listened to as a whole album, all tracks in order - it just doesn't sound right if you put it on shuffle mode. And yet, this is a music blog, so I'll take one out of context for you anyway:

If you're interested in picking up their album, I recommend checking out their Kickstarter page. For about the same amount of money as you'd spend elsewhere, you can get a digital or physical copy of the album and help them pay the initial costs for their first European tour.