The Evangelicals trade in a spooky psychedelic sound that leads many to compare the young Oklahoma quartet with the Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev and Animal Collective.

They rolled into Ottawa on a damp Monday, shorn of tourmates the Parenthetical Girls (van trouble kept them from crossing the border). Their soul support was local performer Glenn Nuotio.

Nuotio’s usual style (self-described as "homo emo indie rubbish”) is an update of cabaret music with sharp-edged lyrics. Since most of his accompanists have departed for higher education, he adopted the rhythm section of the Murder Plans, a harder rocking combo that added some oomph to his music.

The Evangelicals have to switch their sound around when they move from the studio to a live setting - on record, the band’s vocals are frequently multi-tracked and overlap with curious effects.

Fortunately the band has an able substitute for recording trickery, with lead singer Josh Jones fluting vocals being surrounded by bassist Kyle Davis’ ominously echoing moan. What on CD sounds playful and lysergic sounds spooky and sinister on stage.

They also draw on some low-budget stagecraft, setting up lamps to bath everything in a spectral green. For some reason guitarist Todd Jackson also decided to wear a cape, which was a peculiar juxtaposition with his camo T-shirt and jeans.

Lastly, the band turned things up a notch on guitar, and they finished things off with a raucous, crashing version of ‘Hello Jenn, I’m a Mess’ from their first album.

There energetic performance got a healthy greeting from a small audience that seemed to be almost entirely composed of local musicians.













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