The Proof – C-Lo

The Proof

(We’re pretending this is entry #1 of the mp3 beauty pageant.)

While this band may be young (coming up on two years), the Proof are one of the most well developed trios you are likely to come across in the ‘amateur’ circuit. The progeny of a handful of bands, some of which hail from the fertile musical valleys of Chapel Hill, The Proof are wearing a daring yet slightly familiar design tonight. One admires their taste at picking out just the right evening gown, whose sequins are strategically placed to give the most effect without overwhelming the audience with glam. And just look at their poise! The band exudes confidence without ever losing their calm.

On to the talent contest: tonight The Proof are going to sing us a song! Their sense of melody is just as strong as one would hope for, coming from the same town as the Merge Records set; their delivery, however, is darker and sometimes follows less traditional musical forms. They are sure to draw comparisons to Sunny Day Real Estate/Built to Spill (complexity, vocals), Quicksand (hooks, use of space), Pavement (bass to guitar ratio, pace), Sebadoh (melodic sensibility, rhythmic swing), etc. The thing is (and I’ll just whisper this at first), The Proof are perhaps as good as any of the aforementioned bands, and almost as unique. Lyrically, “C-Lo” seems to be a collection of poetic moments from the life of a band on tour. Perhaps they chose this piece because it gets right to the point, rather than taking time to develop into a wide open redemptive piece like “My Last Lies,” whose vocal melodies chase the harmonics of the guitar. There are really two or three main textures in “C-Lo,” which ranges from a soft-spoken whimsy to a full shout and once or twice reaches further down to bring out even bigger dynamics that leave you searching for additional band members or perhaps numerous overdubs to account for the added depth. Before you can analyze the song to death, it’s over and you’ll have to ask The Proof for an encore after the show is over.

While some people question the validity of a swimsuit contest, I defend it on the grounds that to be a well-balanced group, a band has to have worked equally hard on their physical fitness as they did on developing thoughtful responses to questions of personality and intelligence (as previously evidenced by their lyrics). The Proof have a great albeit slender body of work to adorn with their great fashion sense and elegant phrasing. Keep your eye on this tender beauty, for as attractive as they are now, The Proof may still surprise you with what they are capable of blossoming into when they reach maturity.