Two Boys, One Show: Pure Bathing Culture and Widowspeak

PBCWidowspeak // Photo Credit: Cory Butcher

By Cory Butcher and Darren Hicks

Darren Hicks and Cory Butcher attended Pure Bathing Culture and Widowpseak at Bunk Bar last week. Darren had  to split after PBC but Cory stuck around. Here’s what they thought.
Darren: Deep in the industrial district of Portland, Ore (and by that i mean across the Morrison Bridge and down a few blocks), a passerby notices a lovely breeze of sound entering their ears. It could be a nearby train, the humming bass of a passing car, or the music of Pure Bathing Culture emanating from Bunk Bar. Okay, word picture over. Let’s get to the main event.
Portland’s dream pop darlings opened for New York’s Widowspeak, a band which I unfortunately had to miss (hashtag Hillsboro problems). They played selections from their recent LP Moon Tides, and all four tracks from their brilliant debut EP. They also played their cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” from the Rumors Revisited compilation.
The band’s recent addition of a live drummer is definitely noticeable and beneficial, adding much more weight and at least doubling the strength of their already rock solid material. Songs like “Dream the Dare” and “Twins” were transformed into something much more powerful.
Before this sounds too much like a book report, I’m just gong to tell you this: Go see Pure Bathing Culture. They sound nice.

Cory: The crowd shrank considerably after PBC finished their set. Widowspeak hit the stage around 11PM. This was the second time I’d seen the band in the last couple months. Even though they are on Captured Tracks records, they don’t share the same poppy, synth-heavy sounds as most bands on the label. Instead, they are more reminiscent of artists like Sharon Van Etten and Wye Oak, but a little more shoegazey. Vocalist Molly Hamilton’s haunting voice really carried the hazy, dreamy songs, while the fretwork of guitarist Robert Earl Thomas propelled the songs to another level. Definitely a band worth checking out.

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