By Mike Romero
Long time local favorites Seve Vs Evan will bring their unique brand of synth pop to A. Beuford Gifford’s Libation Emporium (better known as ABG’s Bar) tomorrow night. For those of you who are unfamiliar with their work, Seve Vs Evan takes the keys/drums setup of popular acts like Mates of State and Matt & Kim and the bizarro, dream-like imagination of Owl City and then vigorously applies the punk rock principles of brash confidence, raw production, and non-conformity to create a catchy, beautifully honest end product.
Nowhere is this more true than on their Ben Folds-y track “Destination Tokyo” from their 2006 release Steam Powered Rocket Ship. Seve’s exposed, un-Melodyned vocals sing, “My heart’s gone marching to the same old disaster // It’s a shame this song’s so lame, it’s not the sound I was after // But it came from my mouth, I can’t lie.” It’s that brutal honesty and sincerity that has earned Seve Vs Evan a fiercely devoted fanbase. Indeed, lead singer Severin Bozung is the same in person as he is onstage and in his songwriting. In 2013 he paid a personal visit to my home to give me the gift of Google Fiber for the first time. What was supposed to be a fifteen minute install became an hour long visit. Kind, unassuming, and easy to talk to, we swapped favorite artists, talked about the local music scene, discussed our favorite venues, and shared our most memorable performance experiences. While Severin probably has no idea who I am, that’s a visit that has stuck with me for a long time. It inspired me to start writing music again.
Joining Seve Vs Evan is the electronic group Conquer Monster. It’s not exaggeration when I say you will not find a group like Conquer Monster in Utah Valley. Their latest album, Metatransit (available on Bandcamp), uses obsolete computing equipment, old game systems, vintage synthesizers, and old sci-fi radio samples to make their music. For Conquer Monster, aesthetic is everything. Everything from their website to their physical music mediums are late 80’s and 90’s techno chic. They’ve sold their album on CD, VHS, and CD encased in a defunct 5.25″ floppy disk. They are devoted to their craft, using Gameboys, Atari 2600s, Apple IIs, and Omnichords to create every sound on their album. After creating the sounds, they blend elements of Glitch and EDM into one immersive whole. And they’re good at what they do. They don’t just drag and drop loops and samples like they’re middle schoolers who just discovered Fruity Loops for the first time. They create music that is every bit as good as anything you’d hear on a Star Craft soundtrack, if not better. It’s true, Conquer Monster is definitely not for everybody, but if you love experimental, innovative, genre-bending electronic music, Conquer Monster is for you.
Go see Seve Vs Evan and Conquer Monster tomorrow night at ABG’s Bar. The show is 21+ and starts at 10 PM. Tickets are $6 at the door. You can find ABG’s at 190 W Center Street in Provo. Get a feel for Conquer Monster’s unique aesthetic below.