The Australian band, Strange Talk played a long sold out Shuba's last Thursday. Made up of Stephen Docker, Gillan Gregory, Gerard Sidhu, and Travis Constable, everyone had a keyboard in front of himself except the drummer and I suspect he had one behind his kit on the floor by his feet. This band has a big following and I don't really understand why. They didn't do much for me. Does he play the bass or keyboard, guitar or keyboard, sing or keyboard? The answer is all of the above.
This is not a rock band, it's a pop-dance band with guitars as an afterthought and though the crowd was into it, I was not. It was synth pop, dance pop, bordering on bubble gum without much guitar. I don't even know why they bothered wearing the guitars. They should ditch the guitar props. They seem to be imitating very popular bands with a similar sound, Grouplove, Of Monsters and Men, or anyone of the many happy sounding pop/synth/dance bands. They did nothing for me.
Chicago's Future Feats, a similar band, with a similar keyboard driven pop-ness opened the show. Future Feats, however has an absolute monster of a drummer, Xavier Breaker, who is worth paying any cover charge to see play anywhere. The man is unbelievable and I wouldn't be surprised if some huge band steals him away. He is that good. He is better than that. He plays a rock solid beat and his fills are stadium sized. His drums were so perfectly tuned that I wondered if he had triggers on them connected to a synthesizer. I didn't get a chance to ask him, but I did see that the next night, he played the Green Mill with a jazz band.