Trances Arc delivers solid showcase

Edgy indie rock band Trances Arc took the stage at The Earl last Saturday night and supplied a solid performance backing Dropsonic’s album release party.

Trances Arc’s sound is difficult to characterize because it has a feel-good sensation that might be expected from a pop rock group, but the songs most certainly have an originality expected from indie music. Trances Arc played along with Dropsonic, a Zeppelin-influenced indie band that just released its first CD.

Although the concert was partly a CD release party for Dropsonic, more than a few were satisfied with Trances Arc alone.

Hailing from Athens, Ga., Trances Arc is just starting a tour in the southeast; the indie quintet is currently marching west toward Texas, where the band will play with Dropsonic again. Trances Arc’s lineup includes guitarist Michael Dorio, older brother of Julian Dorio, acclaimed drummer for another, perhaps more well known Athens-based band—The Whigs.

Most of the songs performed Saturday night came from Trances Arc’s new album, XOXOX, which is available for purchase on iTunes and other music services. The vocals on most of the album’s tracks sound somewhat produced; however, Eric Toledo, vocalist for Trances Arc, proved this wrong in the band’s performance. Toledo’s vocals are uniquely satisfying, and neither Toledo nor his band mates had any trouble performing on par with the recordings of XOXOX.

Watching Trances Arc perform was a surprising experience because the sound emanating from the stage was not at all what might be expected from the band’s image.

On stage, the five-man crew looks like any other local indie rock band, but the group’s music was decidedly refined compared to the other bands playing with Dropsonic at the show. Appropriately, the band opened its set with the memorable “New Style.” Later in the show the same catchiness would reappear when the band played “Parliament,” apparently the most well received song from XOXOX.

The climax of Trances Arc’s set most definitely came when Toledo took up the keyboard to lead the melody of the five-and-a-half minute “Cold Drivers,” a track that is somewhat of a diversion from the indie style of the rest of the album.

This was the band’s most visibly energetic song and whatever emotions inspired the words were on Eric Toledo’s face while he played out the chords.

It was unfortunate that the last song played before Trances Arc left the stage was “Star Spangled,” which just did not have the catchy rhythms of their other songs from the album. Ironically, this song is subtitled “XOXOX” and serves as the title track. However, this less-than-engaging ending did not take away from the fact that overall Trances Arc played an unquestionably solid show for the rest of the set.