by Francis Andrews in Video on Saturday 29 March 2008

Those bowled over by Yeasayer’s debut, All Hour Cymbals, would take a true battering at one of their live shows. The band’s recent string of gigs at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London may well rank among the top performances the venue has hosted in recent years. Pounding the crowd with a barrage of swirling synths, deep kicks and the apocalyptic vocals of frontman Chris Keating, Yeasayer create a massive wall of sound that climbs and climbs like a tidal wave threatening to crash down on your head. Keating swaggers around the stage in a faux whiskey-induced stupor, howling down the mic with a combination of agonised cries and measured harmonising. A subsequent listen to their album drills home the idea that to truly understand the point of it — the concept that wasn’t justifiably realised on All Hour Cymbals — one needs to experience it in the flesh.