Music » Critics' Picks

Mr. Gnome

9 p.m. Saturday, May 24. The Bluebird, 2706 Olive Street



An early review described Mr. Gnome as a hybrid of Portishead and Black Sabbath, a full-frontal assault of Sam Meister's skittering trip-hop beats and Nicole Barille's rough-rider riffing. Throw in the faux-orgasmic diner scene from When Harry Met Sally to describe Barille's hot-and-bothered vocals, and you've all but captured the sound of the group's first two EPs, which rolled from go-go rawk ("Drunkey Stoney") to psychedelic tidal waves ("Truffle Shuffle"). The coed Cleveland power duo's simultaneously soft-and-loud dynamic gets bigger and wider on its new full-length debut, Deliver This Creature. Beau Sorenson (Death Cab for Cutie, Tegan and Sara) makes the mix crisp, whether the couple is finding harmony in volcanic gush ("After the Sun") or celestial hush ("Rabbit"). Like the lyrical trumpet melody in closing track "Tied," Mr. Gnome is minimal but formidable.

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