Psychobuildings, a trio just two 7”s into their career, stand astride the light and dark corners of the borough. The band features members of Silk Flowers—one of the prickliest experimental bands in town—and Small Black, tuneful, moony chillwavers. Mixed, they find a medium that, from the sound of his vocals, makes Peter LaBier rather uneasy. Their latest single, “Portrait,” is all itchy bass and sideways glances. There are specks of New Wave romance here, some distractedly twirling keyboard there, but especially on B-side “No Man’s Land,” the influence of funk (as interpreted through post-punk) is heavier. The sound’s warped and wavy, like heat radiating off concrete.
Further disconnected from the zeitgeist is Blondes, whose tender ages are the only thing disproving a stint as late-90s insomniacs transfixed by MTV’s Amp. Their debut EP, Touched, recalls niche sub-genres like “ambient house” (the band calls it “ecstatic trance”) that barely registered even in their heyday. It’s a temple built to the hypnotic build. As songs stretch past 10 minutes, it’s easy to zone out. But in smaller doses, like the lasciviously woozy “Spanish Fly,” where the tones sound nearly human and the cathartic blare comes much quicker, the music instantly transports.
Strangely though, it seems that old-fashioned pop-star power is reserved solely for Brooklyn’s ladies. Earlier this year, Class Actress’ Elizabeth Harper slipped gracefully into the role of wounded pop diva. MNDR’s Amanda Warner, who recently released the E.P.E. EP to iTunes, is another young woman clearly ready for her close-up. “C.L.U.B.” spells out where its swagger is designed for. “I Go Away” brings rich R&B vocals to a stuttering minimalism. Her current project is producing an LP for the aforementioned gloom-bots Silk Flowers. Perhaps she can lead the way in teaching all these boys about the vital importance of a distinct and commanding presence.