Explode Into Colors

The Portland trio Explode Into Colors turns pop songwriting on its ear by reducing vocals to a mere background layer and throwing away the melody altogether. In its place are clattery drums and cymbals from duel drummers, a chugging, baritone guitar, and woozy, reverb-heavy vocals. In this way, they have more in common with M.I.A than post-punk progenitors Mission of Burma, who headline the show. M.I.A’s combination of hip-hop, Baile Funk, and dancehall often means aborted melodies, instead using rhythms and shout vocals to propel her songs. Explode Into Colors play similarly distilled rhythms plucked from a chaotic rainbow of influences, musically and otherwise. In a recent interview, vocalist Claudia Meza remarked, “When we started EIC, we wanted it to be an art project that could be a creative vehicle for all our interests, rather than just a band.” Through collaborations with video installations and side projects in dance, book making, and fashion design, it’s no wonder their songs and performances come off so fresh and unusual. Photo courtesy Cameron Browne. ERIK NEUMANN

Wed., Nov. 11, 8 p.m., 2009

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