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Mr. Gnome, with Fired for Walking and Treehouse Project

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Friday, May 16. Rudyard's, 2010 Waugh, 713-521-0521.

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Drawing on a visceral mix of contrasting textures — light/dark, soft/loud — Cleveland, Ohio, duo Mr. Gnome recasts the epic menace of bands like Isis and Pelican. Nicole Barille's ethereal voice adds a softer element that's missing from the aforementioned combos, heightening contrasts. At times, Mr. Gnome's languid drift veers into sad-core territory — then Sam Meister pounds his drums like an abusive alcoholic, and Barille loosens the throttle on her guitar, unleashing crashing sheets of distortion. Deliver This Creature, the group's brand-new full-length debut, relies more on texture and tone than hooks, riding dramatic swells into spacey lulls before reigniting as stormy blasts. In its noisiest moments, Mr. Gnome creates as much ruckus as a band twice its size. Extensive touring over the past couple of years has paid off: Barille and Meister sound dramatically sharper and smarter these days, even putting together a semi-pop tune — complete with piano and trumpet — in "Tied," Deliver This Creature's delicate closer. Local quartet Fired for Walking and local trio Treehouse Project open.

 
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