Doors Open: 7:00 PM
GENERAL ADMISSION 21+: $18.00
TICKET SALE DATES
GENERAL ADMISSION 21+ Public Onsale: November 17, 2023 10:00 AM to February 18, 2024 12:00 AM
Beneath the smoke and mirrors of Provoker’s aching melodies is a spirit seeking clarity. On their forthcoming record Demon Compass, due October 13 this year via Swedish label YEAR0001, the California post-punk outfit turns inward for answers. Written while waiting for the release of the band's esoteric yet pop-oriented debut Body Jumper, Provoker found themselves shifting their focus from projecting familiar, shadowy figures to embodying them — if only as a means of accessing the dregs of their internal world and confronting the demons that lurk even deeper.
When they first emerged, Provoker’s narrative was parallel to their infernal, no wave sound. The band’s core songwriters, lyricist Christian Crow Petty and instrumentalist Jonathon Lopez, met at a screening of the 2016 black comedy film The Greasy Strangler. However, it was far from coincidence; while living in the greater San Francisco Bay Area, between tattoo scenes and friend groups, Petty’s older brother, Alex, matched the two after hearing that Lopez was looking for a skilled vocalist. Fittingly, the older Petty designed the Demon Compass album artwork: a hand that presents the titular compass, encrusted with winged figures who join together at its northern point. Much like the record’s sound, the image juxtaposes luminosity against overwhelming gloom. What’s visible is churning with unease.
Demon Compass is a collection of songs that work together as an experience. It was recorded partly in Stockholm, Sweden with producer Daniel Fagerström (Viagra Boys), who deconstructed the arrangements Petty and Lopez brought to the country. “We wouldn’t have gotten some of the sounds on the records if we didn’t do that,” Petty says. Demon Compass takes the band’s interest in horror iconography and desolate soundscapes, telling introspective stories about desire, loss and growth. Album highlight “C Ur Face” sets the standard for the album. “These days, I’m hanging by a thread / But tell my friends / I don’t wanna see your face again,” Petty sings. His tone is languid, almost resentful, but the R&B-inflected melody softens the message. Undecided on whether isolation is the key to feeling better, the track paces between creating distance and searching for warmth.
Demon Compass finds Provoker opening up and growing between moments of desperate reality and divine realization. Though mournful in tone, it forges a path forward for the band, luring out more of the humanity in their storytelling while still protecting the cryptic, illusory imagery of their previous output.
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MOSTLY STANDING / LIMITED BALCONY SEATING
THIS EVENT IS 21+
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