Neurolux Gets Nuclear, Grows Dinosaur Feathers with Whispertown


In the bowels of the cave-like Neurolux on May 17, Chicago, Ill., Margot and the Nuclear So and So's returned to Boise for a post-apocalyptic rock show.

Opening the evening was Los Angeles, Calif., singer-songwriter Morgan Nagler under the Whispertown moniker, sometimes referred to as Whispertown2000 when accompanied by Vanessa Corbala. At Neurolux, Nagler provided whispery vocals atop guitar by Tod Adrian Wisenbaker, serving the audience best when Casey Wisenbaker took the stage to fill out the sound with a second guitar.

The smattering of fans hugging the stage swelled as Brooklyn, N.Y.'s Dinosaur Feathers took the stage. After playing the Treefort music fest in March, the gang released Whistle Tips in April, following up on the success of its inaugural 2010 release Fantasy Memorial.

Dinosaur Feathers' sound has morphed from early world music influences. While it once settled on the best of sounds from the '60s and '70s, it's evolved into big chunky guitar chords and catchy refrains. Gone is the harmonizing typified on "Teenage Whore," the sound Treefort fans remember from Dinosaur Feathers' last set at the Red Room.

Conspicuously missing was Derek "Duck" Zimmerman on keys, who is also missing from the band's new tracks, and whose absence creates a different stage presence. Instead of the Beatles-era strumming at waist level, guitarist Greg Sullo and bassist Ryan Michael Kiley jumped and kicked about the stage as though rousing a punk rock crowd.

But the audience roared loudest for Margot and the Nuclear So and So's, filling the dance floor quickly, the bar far busier than a typical Thursday night.

The sextet incorporated three guitarists, keyboards, drums, vocals and a tambourine, filling out the live iterations of tracks from the 2012 Rot Gut, Domestic. The result were big, brassy vocals and rock refrains, and while six is sometimes too many, the gang let each element bleed in naturally.

"I will haunt you like a ghost," crooned frontman Richard Edwards on "Broadripple is Burning," one of few slow eddies in the band's frenetic set. The entire group was lit from below by stage lights, appearing as shimmering apparitions.

Margot and Co. fell flat only with their encore, which belabored through a final track played far too slowly.