Dallas band Air Review may be gaining a reputation for cool harmonies and an exquisite sense of pop but anyone who stumbled into their performance at Trees Friday night expecting something akin to a hushed church service was in for a cheerfully rude awakening.
The performance, a record-release party for the new Low Wishes disc, was an energetic, uplifting set that added a jolt of rock'n'roll vigor to their carefully crafted style fans know from the radio play of the folky America's Son. They even showed off a wily sense of humor, serving up a cover of New Order's blissful Regret. But they did it without sacrificing the quiet charm at the heart of their work. (When lead singer/keyboardist/guitarist Douglas Hale said he was doing a cover, one fan behind me murmured the opening lines to the Beach Boys' Wouldn't It Be Nice, which would have been a fun choice considering Hale's admitted love of the Boys.)
Occasionally, the vocals of Hale, guitarist/percussionist Dragan Jakovljevic, guitarist/keyboardist James Robinson, and bassist Jeff Taylor were overwhelmed by the more aggressive sound and the pumped-up kicks of drummer Justin Robinson but those moments were fleeting.
In addition to playing the entirety of the new album, including the TV-commercial-ready Young and the irresistible H, they wisely hauled out a couple of tracks from their first album in 2009. Even at that, the hour set proved to be too short, despite the fact they didn't get on stage until midnight.
Like the old saying goes, it's best to leave 'em wanting more. And you can get more when they play Live Oak Music Hall in Fort Worth Feb. 2 (with Centro-Matic) and Feb. 7 at Dan's Silver Leaf in Denton.
Cary Darling, 817-390-7571