The smooth soulful rock trio from Texas known as Khraungbin closed out their sold-out, two-night run at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday night. While the fans who packed the venue in north Brooklyn were more than ready to dance the night away following what was certainly the first real day of spring in New York, the trio’s more relaxed presentation of music for the second straight night made for the perfect, semi-psychedelic end to what was already a blissful Saturday.
The band were joined again by Mattson 2, a rock duo made up of twin brothers Jonathan and Jared Mattson who churned out a much louder and energized performance than their headlining comrades. Similar to Khraungbin, Mattson 2’s music was for the most part, instrumental, allowing the brothers to improvise and get the audience all loosed up and ready to go with their mix of wavy guitar rock to go with unpredictably jazz rhythms.
Khraungbin’s set was a bit more contained, musically speaking, with their trademark mix of instrumental guitar work with a slight middle-eastern edge coming from bassist Laura Lee and guitarist Mark Speer. If you approached listening to the band’s music from those two alone, one could easily categorize them as some kind of low key, psychedelic tandem who stick to a pretty straight course, with Speer’s phenomenal guitar work occasionally launching them into orbit to keep from their music from becoming too repetitive. Their strongest asset, however, is their drummer, Donald Johnson (aka D.J.) who give the group the soulful hip-hop sound that perfectly balances out what Speer and Lee are doing on their end.
Johnson’s very smooth and impressively simple rhythm style is without a doubt the core that keeps Khraungbin grounded. It’s such a finely tuned tone of snare and high-hat work that any rap artist would be foolish not to consider hiring the band to lay down the music tracks on his or her next album. The band could easily be thought of as a hip-hop group sans lyrics, kind of like those relaxing chillwave/“Tripping In Japan” videos that make for great late-night background music. Just ask the audience, who were joyfully surprised to hear familiar instrumentals of classic ODB, Biggie, Tupac and other throwback rap artists are thrown into the tail end of their set.
Khraungbin will continue to tour in promotion of their recently released sophomore album throughout the spring and will team up with fellow Texan Leon Bridges for his own North American headlining run later on this year. Tickets for select shows on Khraungbin's 2018 tour schedule are on sale now and can be purchased by clicking here.