Hopewell, Castledoor @ Spaceland, 6/07/09
There is something immensely comforting about residencies - month-long appearances by bands at a relatively small venue. By their very nature, they imply homeliness and a familiarity that is both welcoming and calm. The shows, for example, are almost always free and the headlining band, via their month stay, has a fantastic opportunity to endear themselves to fans and staff by their very repetitive nature.
Alas, in as much as some bands are more interesting than others, not all residencies are created equally. Take Castledoor for instance. The L.A.-based power-pop sextet is currently headlining Spaceland’s June residency and doing so with great verve. Fresh off the release of their debut album, Shouting at Mountains, these spry pepsters have more enthusiasm than a Dr. Seuss book, a comparison that is surprisingly apt: their live performances are a fanciful affair of great exuberance, supported by lyrics that never seem to extend past two syllables.
But, where as there is a sly genius to Dr Seuss’s works beneath his seemingly childish drawings and monosyllabic prose, Castledoor’s songs remain simply childish.