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Spirit Army at Spaceland 2/29/2008

Spirit Army like bubbles. Photos by Rena Kosnett

If you were concerned about local dynamic duo Dante Adrian and Jeff Ehrenberg vanishing from the music circuit because Starlite Desperation decided to call it quits, feel free to un-furrow your brow. Their first L.A. show since garnering new bassist Laena Myers-Ionita, as well a new band name, Spirit Army, the tag team ripped through tracks off their upcoming full length, Take It Personally, Friday night at Spaceland with the talent that sustained Starlite Desperation’s reputation as stellar performers through numerous years, numerous releases, and numerous record labels: Adrian’s vocals and Ehrenberg’s drumming.

Constant as the Northern star, shaggy brunette Adrian will always strain his surprisingly strong and fluid vocal chords to their breaking point, and curly redhead Ehrenberg will always keep a beat while hamming it up—standing, swirling, throwing his sticks in the air, flashing hysterical facial expressions.

The new Spirit Army material is solid garage pop that balances Adrian’s graceful, almost feminine voice with Ehrenberg’s power percussion. There are already a few standout tracks just as stellar as SD songs “What I Want” and “Let It Burn”—particularly, their opener “Spirit Army” as well as “My Favorite Place” are insta-parties, jam-packed full of power chord fire and brimstone.

Myers-Ionita is definitely a member of the “Los Angeles Bass Vixen” club, but it took her a while to warm up—it didn’t seem like she started out the set with the same amount of confidence as her counterparts. That may be due to Adrian and Ehrenberg having so much previous experience as a creative force, or because it was only Spirit Army's second show together; but after ten minutes she was belting backup vocals and facing the audience with more enthusiasm.

Oh, and Ehrenberg has a new stage trick: bubbles.

Take It Personally will be released this summer on Ehrenberg’s label, Infrasonic.


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