Sebastian Grainger and the Mountains
Author: Christopher R. Weingarten
Formerly the powerhouse drummer/vocalist in cuddly Canadian noise duo Death From Above 1979, Sebastien Grangier attacks his new role as frontman as if he's overjoyed to be free of the confines of his drum stool. At Wednesday night's Mercury Lounge set, Grainger hopped around, leaned back, tensed up his shoulders, fell to his knees and genuflected to his amp. He was relishing in his version of power-pop: a heavy sound that relies on triumphant choruses and punk energy, equal parts the Replacements and Eddie Money. Grainger was dapper in his overalls and button-down shirt, starkly contrasting with his three-dirtbag backing band who refused to take a break for anything. Even though he's moved from art-rocker to just plain rocker (his new album is due on pop label Saddle Creek), he's still got overwhelming amount of ironic distance, even snarkily adding onstage, "We're just gonna tune our 'axes.' " But don't tell that to the multiple young couples in the audience dancing, cuddling and kissing.