Both in recording and live performance, Alex G’s music could be described as a walking contradiction. He delivers his performance with an awkward confidence, sarcastically dry-humping his guitar and bursting into an impromptu rendition of Blink- 182. He is entirely engaging but comes across largely unaware.
This Pennsylvanian band is essentially DIY and has cultivated an online audience by existing almost exclusively through Bandcamp. Alex Giannascoli is the main artistic driving force within the band, self-recording songs in his bedroom and posting them online. A couple of years ago, he underwent a musical transformation, leaving electro behind and engaging in lo-fi garage pop. Within this genre he has really found his niche.
Throughout the night the band played tracks from their most recent albums: DSU, Trick and Rules. In these albums it is easy to witness a distinct refining in the band’s sound and a notable shift in Alex’s lyrical maturity. Although his lyrics are simplistic, they are far from superficial; often revolving around self-reflection and the struggles of being a teenager staring into the abyss of adulthood, as emphasised in tracks “Blackhair”, “Boy” and “Harvey”.
However, his songs are never self-indulgent and are almost always humorous. A highlight of the night was his rendition of “Animals”, in which he comically romanticises his pet dog Rosie: “look her in her big brown eyes/ hold her tight and feel no pain/ her dog breath drives me insane”. Ironically, Alex G delivered this song by shrieking down the mike, making noises that no human has made before. This track was a prime example of a song that translated better as a live performance, allowing the band to strip it down and bulk it up. However, this was not the case for all of his songs. The intricacy of their subtler tracks, such as “Mis”, seemed lost when performed. Despite their musical proficiency, the dynamics of these songs felt out of place in a general swell of noise coming from the band.
Nevertheless, the audience was not left wanting as Alex himself took to the stage alone to play some requests. Before delivering renditions of “Sandy” and “Change”, he announced that it was going to be “boring as shit”, but this was far from the case. Fans enthusiastically sung along, indicating how much of a cult band Alex G has become.