Is Wise Blood This Year's Most Improved Band?

The first time I saw Wise Blood, principle singer/producer Chris Laufman played half a song then aborted the set. His sampler kept running, maybe some vocal stolen from the Beatles. He was in a state of partial undress, distress. After, the friends he brought along as his band looked pretty freaked out. Since dude's recorded music sounds so tight, the implosion came as a surprise. Fast forward five months—Laufman has three brand new, shipshape dudes backing him and a handful of tense and memorable songs that channel whatever demons/attention deficit he is dealing with. Live, Chris manically attacks the electro-gospel downbeats of these tracks like a hungry, young rapper with who's self consciously trying to entertain. His delivery engages, affronts. When I saw the boys perform at Glasslands a couple weeks ago, where these videos were captured, I was happy to be standing at a distance. It's gnarly and gross when Laufman says, "If anyone has coke come see me after the show I'd like some," at the conclusion of "The Lion," but it doesn't spoil the intrigue of the EP he'll release in June. Wise Blood tour with Friendly Fires in May and June, dates below.

TUE 5/24 Philadlephia, PA First Unitarian Church
WED 5/25 New York, NY Webster Hall
THR 5/26 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
FRI 5/27 Boston, MA Paradise
SAT 5/28 Montreal, QC Corona Theatre
MON 5/30 Toronto, ON Phoenix
TUE 5/31 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall
WED 6/1 Minneapolis, MN Varsity Theatre
SAT 6/4 Vancouver, BC Venue
SUN 6/5 Seattle, WA Neumo's
MON 6/6 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
WED 6/8 San Francisco CA The Independent
FRI 6/10 Los Angeles CA Music Box

Is Wise Blood This Year's Most Improved Band?