LOWER EAST SIDE, NY—Pillow Theory (often stylized as pILLOW tHEORY) formed in New York City as a power trio in 2001. The band has gone through various personnel changes, but Pillow Theory has remained the vehicle through which lead singer/guitarist Kelsey Warren has explored his songwriting and performance. Pillow Theory released two albums early on, but the most recent output is 2011’s seven-song EP entitled Meltdown. The group is presently a quartet, comprised of Warren, lead guitarist Danos Ettrick, bassist Joaquin De Baca and drummer Howard Alper.
Kelsey Warren is exposed to a lot of live music. He works at one of New York’s foremost rock clubs, The Bowery Electric. This constant exposure to new sounds has helped him refine what he wants from his band. At the Mercury Lounge tonight opening for The Suzan, Pillow Theory delivered high-powered dynamic rock while embracing a blend of musical tastes. Within the confines of short, tight songs, Pillow Theory packed in slivers of metal, punk, blues and soul. Warren admirably sang entirely from his gut; even his many screams came from somewhere deep inside. This gave the songs an urgency that commanded attention and respect. Ettrick’s guitar leads were reserved yet energized the songs in crisp and sizzling blasts, an asset in making the set feel full and powerful. Why is this review so short? The band performed a mere 25 minutes tonight.