CULTURE

Promising indie-rockers play their first Greek shows this week

Following in the footsteps of several preceding compatriot acts, such as the Birthday Party – a project that evolved into Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – the Go-Betweens and the Triffids, the contemporary Australian indie-rock trio Devastations opted to base itself in Europe not long after its debut album as a springboard for introducing its work to European audiences. The move, made in 2003, not long after the release of the trio’s debut album, has managed to generate praise for the band’s work from both peers and followers. As part of its European focus, the Australian band, whose dark-sounding style has prompted comparisons with acts such the Tindersticks, Madrugada and compatriot Cave, plays its first Greek shows this week. Devastations open their Greek visit with a show in Thessaloniki this Thursday at the Mylos Club, and, the following night, play the capital’s Gagarin club. The Athens show, a double bill, will co-feature British garage-rockers the Flaming Stars, a last-minute replacement for another emerging Antipodean act, the Veils, from New Zealand. The event’s promoter announced the Veils’ cancellation just days ago, citing the health problems suffered by one of the band’s members. Devastations’ most recent album release, its second, strongly depicts the band’s experience in Europe, which the group has toured extensively, covering numerous cities stretching from Helsinki to Sarajevo. Reflecting their away-from-home adventures, the album, titled «Coal,» was recorded at three locations – a concert hall in Prague, the former East Germany’s state radio-and-television facility in Berlin, as well as at a recording studio back home in Melbourne. Sharing the marquee at the Australian band’s shows in Athens, the Flaming Stars were formed by Max Decharne, a former member of Gallon Drunk, who switched from drums to vocals and keyboards for his duties in the new band, formed in 1994. Most recently the band, a frequent performer in Greece, released a worthy compilation CD, «London After Midnight: Singles, Rarities and Barroom Floor-Fillers, 1995-2005.» Jason Molina, another indie-rocker playing in Athens this week, also on Friday, at the Planet Music club, will perform in the country for the first time. It will close a European tour. An Ohio-born singer-songwriter, Molina, whose material has often been compared to the moody feats of Will Oldham, as well as the celebrated veterans Leonard Cohen and Neil Young, has quietly put out a series of interesting projects since the mid-90s on the respected label Secretly Canadian, a pioneer on the indie-rock circuit. Molina has worked under various monikers, including Songs: Ohia, between 1996 and 2003 before he renamed his project Magnolia Electric Co for a series of beguiling lo-fi Americana projects.