The Districts are an impressive young four-piece from Lititz, in Lancaster County. The band channeled the rock-and-soul vibe of Cold War Kids and Spoon; singer Rob Grote’s searing voice cut across the concert hall, blending with the band’s smartly-arranged instrumental interplay. They do the very Pixies loud-quiet-LOUD thing, but in a more textured way than simply turning their overdrive pedals on and off. A thundering swell cuts, leaving a clean guitar arpeggio floating in space as Grote catches his breath; the verses build in waves, with the heaviness sometimes derived just from Braden Lawrence’s drums. Grote is an intense, emphatic, occasionally bewildering stage presence — he kicks, stomps and snarls, both at the mic and far away — but guitarist Mark Larson and bassist Connor Jacobus hold their own, shuffling and bobbing and giving the overall band a dynamic stage presence. Check out “Four and Four” from their album “Telephone.”
…And sometimes, it’s just as exciting to sitback and let the music speak for itself. In the case of Lancaster County rock n’ soul four-piece The Districts, it’s definitely one of those latter cases. The band recorded five songs in our studio last weekend — three from its impressive 2012 debut Telephone, one from the more recent While You Were in Honesdale EP (“Dressed to Kill”) , and one new track — the impressionistic, evocative swell of “Went To the City.” That one’s often their set-closer, the one they bring down the house with when they play live, and it had the same chilling effect in the studio, and later still in my headphones as I was editing the music to present to you today. Listen below, draw your own conclusions, and most importantly, see this band live.