Belying their moody aesthetic, rock instrumentalists Typhoon opened an electrifying set at Muddy Waters Café in a blaze of drums and horns, with all 11 band members blasting through Hunger and Thirst favorites, and a couple tunes from their upcoming EP, A New Kind of House.
Before Typhoon’s grandiose performance, though, fellow Portland folk rockers AgesandAges kick started the night with their own brand of feet-stomping and go-tell-it-on-the-mountain style songs. The seven-piece band started things off with a spot-on rendition of their ultra-upbeat single, “Alright You Restless,” and slowly transcended into the impeccable harmonies and roaring drum and bass arrangements of the drearier sounding “Tap on Your Windowpane.” As their set came to a close, front man Daniel Hunt led a powerful vocal harmony, as his tentative guitar progressively built into a roar of sounds for “When I Was Idle.”
Even after such a vibrant opening act, Typhoon’s perfectly crafted arrangements managed to steal the show. First, they nonchalantly ripped into their instrumental anthem, “Starting Over.” No other band I have encountered can so simply start off a song with shallow, whispery vocals and end up with the culminating thunder of two drum sets, two strings (cello, violin), two guitars, some horns, the twinkling noises of a xylophone, and back-up vocals 10 people strong. The group’s ability to smoothly integrate every element of their musical troupe especially shined through on newer tracks like “Summer Home.” Shortly after, “Kitchen Tile,” the fourth track on their upcoming EP, demonstrated their true musical prowess, blending raw guitar riffs and chest-vibrating bass with looming string orchestrations and the familiar screech of commanding horns.
In the span of a set that seemed to end all too soon, frontman Kyle Morton and his band of music makers provided Muddy Water revelers with the perfect amount of rock minimalism and Arcade Fire-ish instrumental collaboration. Typhoon’s new EP, New Kind of House will be released on Tuesday, March 8 via Tender Loving Empire.