Until I saw Nine Inch Nails a few weeks back, electronic act STRFKR’s set at the Neptune earlier this year was my favorite show of 2013. I know, putting the fellas of STRFKR in the same category as Trent Reznor is, well, kind of a big freaking deal, and yes, STRFKR’s music isn’t categorically anywhere close to NIN’s industrial doom rock. But ignore whatever negative connotations the comparison might bring to mind, because STRFKR is just as insanely mind-blowing as NIN.
Based in Portland, the four-piece has built a reputation for its energetic electronic cuts, first introduced on 2007’s Starfucker EP (there was some controversy about that name, and the band was known as Pyramiddd for a time before it changed to STRFKR). But even better than its excitable tunes is its electrically charged live show, which features an assortment of live instrumentation, mathy beats, and a pulsing bass that jump-starts the dance party.
When I reviewed a STRFKR show in February, I noted that this is a band of millennials that makes music for other millennials, which only enhances the idea that its music will make a perfect playlist for another booze-enhanced New Year’s Eve (or pre-NYE celebration). It’s fuzzy and messy, chaotic and ear-splitting; there are balloons and flashy lights and confetti. It’s a sensory overload in the most pleasurable way. Because of all this, you won’t mind that those STRFKR songs that do have lyrics generally consist of incoherent sound bites or inaudible ideas drowned out by heavy synths (in a quieter setting, though, you can hear they are often samples of lectures by philosopher Alan Watts). Even the mellower tracks, the best of which are found on this year’s Miracle Mile, place production at the forefront. It makes sense: At the end of the year, it’s all about the vibes. Monday, December 30–Tuesday, December 31. With Teen Daze, Alexico, Pillar Point (Tuesday only). Neumos, 925 E. Pike St., 709-9442, neumos.com. 8 p.m. SOLD OUT. 21 and over.