Nostalgic seems like a strange word to describe Save Us From the Archon, an avant-garde instrumental band that writes songs with next to no structure and plays its entire set without saying a word to the audience. The silence between songs is filled with noise loops.
“It’s one fluid sound, throughout the set,” says Andrew Cresto who plays guitar for the Pittsburgh, PA mathcore band. He also controls the DigiTech loop machine.
Mathcore is a rhythmically complex and dissonant style of metalcore that is similar to math rock in its use of unusual time signatures.
Of course, Cresto takes it as a compliment when people call the band nostalgic. It means they are picking up on the themes he puts in the music. It’s typically a feeling of loss or regret or a general sense of melancholy.
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“You can convey that without words,” says Cresto, who studied as a jazz musician at a performing arts high school, then forgot the bulk of what he learned. With Save Us From Archon, the music isn’t based on theory. It’s based on feel, or feelings, perhaps. The songs don’t adhere to the standard verse-chorus pattern or four-four time. Instead, they are built on one or two bars moving fluidly into the next without ever repeating. It’s meant to mimic human consciousness, Creasto says. He describes it as avant-garde noise with sporadic melodies. And some ambient spots.
“I try to have no structure, which is confusing to pop audiences.”
That said, the music is carefully constructed. Cresto and fellow guitarist Nelson Brooks write out each part of each song in tablature form, to keep track of their thoughts. Then, the rest of the band does its interpretation of those parts.
“When we write, we know exactly what we want,” he says.
Save Us From the Archon is currently on tour with the post-hardcore/experimental supergroup Sianvar. The tour stops Wednesday, September 7 at Strummer’s. The band’s album, “L'Eclisse,” is out now on Tragic Hero Records and Cresto says a follow up album has already been written and is in the works.
Save Us from The Archon
Opening for Sianvar
- 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 7
- Strummer’s, 833 E. Fern Ave.
- $12-$14, all ages
- 559-485-5356, www.strummersclub.com