The tone of opening song Bones pretty much sums up MS MR – they mask the macabre under lashings of exquisitely produced chillwave (despite how they drip-fed their EP, we refuse to call anything ‘Tumblr-wave’, ever). The duo have been carefully guarded about their music and identities, but that can be quite hard to maintain after one of your songs is used on an episode of Gossip Girl.
And so it is with abandon that the pair run through an all-too-short 40-minute set, including promising new material – some of which actually sounds hand-clap cheery – as well the songs that got them here in the first place. The sumptuous Dark Doo Wop ends with gratitude from the band for letting them do a ballad, while even in a live environment the breakout hit Hurricane stands up as an achingly simple paean to depression and self-loathing.
One thing is for absolute certain – Plapinger is a star, the ideal proponent for crossover success. Sashaying on stage with blue-rinse hair, flirting with both the crowd and bandmate Max Hershenow (the eponymous MR), she’s like a goth-pop Katy Perry minus the muffin tits.
Electrowerkz is a hit-and-miss place for a gig at the best of times, but here especially the mass of checked shirts and non-ironic facial hair seemed far too small to contain the charm of MS MR. It becomes all too apparent with their charged cover of Patrick Wolf’s ‘Time of My Life‘ – Plapinger’s flailing arms barely had enough room to show us that, yes, this really was.