Show Review

The Cordial Sins @ Ace of Cups 2/12/16

Nick Lotz

As soon as I walk in I awkward up the joint. The bartender takes one look at my expired passport, refuses to sell me a drink, and I nearly get kicked out during the argument that ensues. My insecurities are squelched though, when I eventually say hi to the members of The Cordial Sins and they greet me like an old friend, even though I totally bailed on our interview a week prior.

At some point I look around and start to think that I’m the only person at the venue who isn’t a musician. The MC spits over the loudspeaker, “Welcome back to record store happy hour.” I have no idea what that is. There was a band playing when I walked in that the bartender had claimed was “Just a sound check.” I guess that would kind of make sense. I look around and the crowd is sparse; too sparse. It’s almost as though I’m here way too early.

Who: Cordial Sins
What: Concert
Where: Ace of Cups, Columbus
When: Feb 12th 2016
Why: Some other band’s release show
How: Drove all the way to freaking Athens, OH, picked up my lovable fellow inebriate of a friend Kevin Watters, and then drove to Columbus just in time to grab a Jr. bacon at Wendy’s and get to the show.

There’s free pizza at the venue again, although, when Corey, the lead singer for The Cordial Sins encourages me to take a slice, I turn him down. I don’t want to be fat-guy-eating-pizza at the concert.

Soon enough, the crowd has filled out Ace of Cups and lo and behold, there’s a guy there who makes me feel like eating pizza isn’t such a bad idea, namely because he’s dressed up in full on Phantom of the Opera attire, and is the only one who is wearing a costume of any kind whatsoever. To make matters even more hilarious, when Liz is doing her sound check, she plays some definite Andrew Lloyd Weber inspired chords (I knew these guys were something special).

Just for a rundown on the lineup, Kyle is the rhythm guitar (he’s the red-headed, fiery type), James is the bassist (he’s the quiet, hang in the background type), Jeremy is the drummer (personality unknown), Corey plays lead guitar and harmony, and Liz does the keys and the vocals (she’s also clearly the heart and soul of the band).

The Cordial Sins is native to Columbus so I run into quite a few people who know one or two members of the band personally. One of them, Julia, has known Liz since the fourth grade. She assures me that they are, “Just as good live as they are in studio.”

When they eventually get started, after a confusing sound check in which they play an entire song I’d never heard before and the MC cuts it off halfway through, they drop into “Am,” which is off their Daze LP that dropped late last year. It’s a sweet, smooth track, and the band really does sound just as good live as in studio, with Liz holding up the ensemble with her smooth, sweet vocals. She has one of those surf rock voices that blast through awesomely as the guitars play behind her.

Next up is “You” and they play it a bit faster live than they do in studio, and it has a kind of sweet anger to it. Kyle does a wide stance, playing with his long arms monkeying all over the guitar, and it seems the band gets down quite a bit, and is having some fun.

“Fringe” follows this song----the violins blare in the background as Liz croons, hanging onto the microphone now as she steps away from the keyboard, singing,  “So who will you be / when I’m not around,” while Corey harmonizes with her.

After that comes “The Wind” with a rather self explanatory chorus, “The wind / the wind / the wind.” It picks up at one point, leading into the aforementioned chorus.

Later, they play “Overboard,” which has a sort of 1950’s pop feel to it, complete with Liz doing the whole head shaking motion so common in sock hop. Then they play “Give It Up,” which is almost grungy because it’s so heavy in comparison to the lighter fare they had played earlier. It gets a bit jammy, and drops into a loud wailing breakdown with the drums pounding, Corey soloing on guitar, and Liz wailing away until all of the instruments drop away to leave only Corey and Liz ooh-aahing together. It’s so heartfelt that I feel like I’m on a cruise ship.