It was hot, it was sweaty, and according to Brooklyn four-piece MOTHXR’s Twitter feed, ‘The best show of our career so far’ – it was of course, the next big thing to come out of NY throwing down at The Sebright Arms off Hackney Road, London, on Thursday 18th September.
From the outside a seemingly unassuming pub, hidden away down a side street, arriving at the venue itself brought with it a sense of excitement that something great would be unveiled here tonight – and the packed out crowd certainly didn’t leave disappointed. For those not in the know – MOTHXR are Brooklyn-based band and besties Penn Badgley (vocals), Jimmy Giannopoulos (bass), Simon Oscroft (guitar) and Darren Will (bass) – brought together from a broad range of backgrounds with the desire to make retro, analogue tunes, and man, what an experience.
Admittedly yes, it’s hard to see a band fronted by Penn Badgley without wondering if the sold out crowd are actually here just to see Dan Humphrey (of the Gossip Girl elite) in the flesh – which of course some of them were – but those thoughts were instantly forgotten when the band took to the stage, and he proved himself as the glorious drawling frontman we were craving. Visually, the band ticked all the boxes, the messy haired indie-grunge look that the girls (and guys) go crazy for, so close to the crowd in the intimate venue (which was really just a cave) that every beat pounded in your chest and every word convinced you it was meant for you.
With only three tracks available on Soundcloud, it was a treat to hear the rest of the catalogue, with Underground and Black Girl with its psyched-out outro being real highlights in the deliciously synth fuelled, laidback 80s-esque set. Victim, with its beat-pad gunshots and sultry sax solo was a personal favourite, and of course the band’s first release Easy served as the closer to the set, reverberating through the room and digging its repeated riff right into your bones.
For their first visit to the UK, the night acted as a fantastic taster of what this band can do – not only proving themselves as original musicians in their own right, but successfully transporting you to the gritty, sexy, underground New York clubs of the 80s where they belong. Come back soon guys, and bring an album with you!