The Surprising Sounds of Table Sugar

by Adam McKinney for OLY ARTS

For some bands, messiness can be a virtue. Not everyone thrives on the airtight compositions of Robert Fripp or other leaders of compositional tidiness. A band like The National draws its strength from disciplined arrangements and an almost drum-machine-esque rhythm section, but that focus can result in music devoid of surprises. Stagnation is birthed from being too comfortable, so bands that allow themselves the freedom to play around frequently avoid this pitfall.

Olympia art-punk four-piece Table Sugar has no such hang-ups. The band’s mindset with putting songs together is about throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. The music, as a result, is blanketed in chaotic discordance, a wild, vaguely confrontational jumble of jagged chords and shouted vocals. Every song is spotted with auditory tripwires, lending a lo-fi jolt of unpredictability to what might otherwise be straightforward garage rock.

Comprising Pascal Luther (guitar and vocals), Ella Svete (guitar and vocals), Aidan McNellis (bass) and Bryn Ackley (drums), Table Sugar began on a whim after its members met in art class at The Evergreen State College. That early “let’s start a band!” enthusiasm translates to their songwriting.

“I don’t want to say this for everybody, but we don’t really know music,” says Luther, laughing. “It’s not intentional. We’re not saying, ‘(Forget) music theory.’ It comes on accident, because we’re trying lots of stuff and we don’t know what’s right and what’s wrong. If we like something, we like it, and discordant stuff can be really pretty, sometimes.”

Through the lens of Table Sugar, prettiness is often conveyed through buzzing guitars and madcap tempos. After laying down a demo EP last year, Table Sugar will release their debut LP in December 2016, no doubt finding the band further exploring the beauty of disorder.

What: Table Sugar (with Deadbeat Club)

Where: Le Voyeur,
404 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia

When: 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20

How much: free

Learn more: 360-943-5710 | Le Voyeur

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