Australian dance-rock duo The Presets stole the show with their opening performance for Brooklyn's The Rapture last night at Webster Hall. My first brush with the awe-inspiring Aussies occurred in a hotel room several months ago while celebrating a friend's birthday. A few of us hooligans were B-day cheers-ing and dancing in a small circle to the haunting bolts of synthesized energy and sing-along hand claps that make up "Are You The One?," my now favorite track off The Presets' debut album Beams.
Webster Hall is no swanky room rent, but the East Village venue made for a perfect discotheque backdrop to The Presets' electronic domination. Keyboardist/vocal dictator Julian Hamilton and drummer/programmer Kim Moyes, both dressed in surprisingly average joe apparel, rocked the house with an erratic light show, peculiar dance moves and a montage of influenced sound ranging from '80s revolutionaries like New Order, Depeche Mode and Blondie, to the industrial clamor of Ministry and Thrill Kill Cult.
Two people on stage felt like 12 last night due to Hamilton and Moyes' pervasive presence and vigorous pursuit of crowd happiness. From the atypical "unce-unce-unce" beat and manipulated vocals in "I Go Hard I Go Home," to the aggressive anthem "Down Down Down," The Presets certainly left audience members wanting more, more, more.
The background scoop on Sydney's spastic pair:
Hamilton and Moyes dropped out of the prestigious Sydney Conservatorium of Music to escape the realm of socially awkward, practice-obsessed classmates and start pursuing their own style of music. After releasing the successful EPs Blow Up and Girl And The Sea, The Presets released their first full-length album Beams in September of 2005. With its distinct, atmospheric melodies, powerful repetitions and detached vocals, The Presets have definitely communicated their distinct sound to critics and consumers alike. Hamilton and Moyes also play in The Disassociatives, fronted by Daniel Johns of Silverchair (!!!), who also happens to sing on the Beams' track "Cookie." The Presets are signed to Modular Recordings -- home to bands Wolfmother and The Avalanches.
By Jamie Lee