Live Music Review // Nahadoth / Some Pepper / Membra @ Never Ending Books, New Haven CT May 24th 2024

Additional photos can be found in an album on Facebook here :::

Though I was just at Never Ending Books the Monday prior to this, I am still trying to keep everything connected.   This time I was back and so was Some Pepper, who I had seen on the Sunday prior at Willimantic Records.   This very much felt like it kept these three shows within this calendar week on a theme and I enjoyed that as well.   Everyone wants to feel like they're connected to something else.

Membra was up first.   The new Membra album, "Blocks of Color, Blocks of Sound", was just released a few weeks prior and this was a show to promote its release.  Elements of both pop, rock and something else were present in this set as sometimes Ned Porter would sing and play the guitar and other times the music would accompany his voice without the guitar.  It was an upbeat set full of energy but thus is the tone of the album.

As the set opened with "Greenwood", as the album does, it was a mix of different songs from the new album but not all of them and not in order.   When "It's Alright" came on, I got this feeling inside of me where I felt like the time I had spent listening to "Blocks of Color, Blocks of Sand" was so much more than I had initially thought.   Yes, I recognized "Monotone" as well, but during "It's Alright" was when it all kind of hit that I know this album better than I thought I had.

Some Pepper played second and this was a fairly different set from what we heard on the Sunday before.   There were those electronic beats and just an overall dance type of vibe.  The saxophone made an appearance as well.  But at one point the music just broke down into a spoken word story about how the universe was created and a lot of math and science.  I'm not sure anyone else could have pulled this off at any other time but the crowd was into it.

There was a song that Some Pepper was going to try and play but quickly gave up on, which might have sparked the whole spoken word portion of the show.   By the end, a big sort of lounge singer type number took out most of the crowd.   At times, Some Pepper can give off Tony Clifton vibes but it all still feels so serious and so much like it's not a character and not a joke, but it is okay to laugh.

The musical stylings of Nahadoth closed out the show and this was the only musician I knew nearly nothing about going into the show.   Most of the songs of Nahadoth had these keys which made it sound like something between a video game and magical quest.   If you told me this was the sounds in a Zelda video game I'd believe you, but at the same time it felt like it could be the score to a film as well.  

There was one song which felt like more of a traditional, classical piano-based song, which was nice.   For the majority of the set though, you were going to feel like you were in Middle Earth or somewhere similar.  It took me a minute to think about what this specific sound was called but once it hit me as "dungeon synth" I was able to relax and enjoy the music.  

Membra can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Some Pepper can be found on Instagram here :::

Nahadoth can be found on Bandcamp here :::

Never Ending Books can be found on the web here :::


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