I really didn't know what to expect when Tiny Hazard took the stage last Tuesday at The Silent Barn. My ultimate description of this band ended up somewhere around "surrealist nightmare fairy tale music." Alena Spanger set the tone not just with her appearance - barefoot, a white dress, she looked young, like she was straight out of a cartoon - and her vocals, which would change on a whim from operatic disney to demon lord fury.
Spanger and Tiny Hazard don't want us to have any expectations, actively fooling us into thinking they're one thing until they're not. They'll be in the middle of a soft, dainty melody until someone hits the tritone on the piano and everything goes dark. When you barely have time to adjust to the sudden change they'll plunge into heavy, distorted, no-wave inspired insanity. But there's a method to the madness, their recordings and their live sets are both highly contained and controlled atmospheres, where every move has a purpose.
Their most recent single, "Silhouette" is a further demonstration of their eclecticism. The song is disguised as a highly accessible pop song, but it's clear that we're in a confusing mid-point between light and dark. "All of those sick faces/Crooked and vacant/Mounting is your unrest/Warping silhouette," Spanger sings over a R n B/soul inspired synth melody, it seems almost out of place until someone turns on the 'evil' switch on and we're shot into hell and the lyrics aren't as out of place. Stream the track below (one of their slower ones) and check them out at The Mercury Lounge on 11.22.
INTERVIEW: Read Emilio Herce's interview with Tiny Hazard.