Home Live Review Live Review: Thus Love @ Comet Ping Pong — 3/8/24

Live Review: Thus Love @ Comet Ping Pong — 3/8/24

Live Review: Thus Love @ Comet Ping Pong — 3/8/24
Echo Mars fronts Thus Love at Comet Ping Pong on March 8, 2024. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

Thus Love opened their recent appearance at Comet Ping Pong with a new song, “On the Floor.” The band have been releasing music since late 2022, including a debut album, Memorial, via Captured Tracks, and today they are touring the country with a slate of new songs.

And these new songs like “On the Floor” are remarkable for their ability to capture the zeitgeist of late ’70s post-punk, particularly English post-punk, as these young adults from contemporary Vermont sound a helluva lot like young English people from 45 years ago. And that is fantastic.

It helps that the trio are fronted by Echo Mars, a crackerjack vocalist who gave the songs just enough to both thrill and chill the audience at Comet Ping Pong on March 8. When Echo intoned, “Even now, I hope I never know how it feels to be truly alone,” in the opening of “On the Floor,” the listener felt that shiver, albeit a shiver wrapped warm guitars.

To my ear, Thus Love recall the sonic schematics of really great bands like The Sound and Magazine, and they have a light, intelligent Lyrical touch that embraces the poetry of their words. The terrific “On the Floor” is emblematic of that touch.

Watch Thus Love perform “On the Floor” live for Green Man Festival Sessions on YouTube:

Echo Mars and drummer Lu Racine formed the band prior to the pandemic but never got on the road before lockdowns struck. They have now recruited bassist Ally Juleen, and they are touring with Shane Black on guitar and synth.

Thus Love continued their set with another unreleased song, “House on a Hill,” a churning rock number where a bit of glam guitar began to creep into their sound. And I myself cannot help but think of young David Bowie. Echo’s red hair and vocal inflection sometimes recalled the Hunky Dory/Ziggy era of Bowie’s career although measured and in a lower register. And the stirring glam guitars also gave vibes of ’70s Bowie and Iggy Pop.

Across roughly a dozen songs, Thus Love stuck mostly with new material, although they reached back to Memorial, the debut record, for several sings including “Anathema” and “Family Man” early in the show and “Repetitioner” later. They also played their great single, “Centerfield,” their most recent actual release (dating from February 2023) and “Put on Dog” (the single before that).

From Memorial, “Anathema” and “Family Man” lyrically spat on the expectations of society, “Anathema” perhaps railing against conformity and “Family Man” against hypocrisy. Lu Racine’s drums hummed with rat-a-tat rhythms, bursting into fiery rolls to accentuate Echo’s refrains.

These young musicians are a breath of fresh air to a middle-aged man like myself, who is spending his year chasing the sounds of the Chameleons and New Order’s Peter Hook. Thus Love would be very much at home with these musicians, their spiritual forebears from the early days of post-punk England.

Here are some photos of Thus Love performing at Comet Ping Pong on March 8, 2024. All pictures by Mickey McCarter.



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