This EP is the stuff of instant sonic obsessions. These days, there’s nothing shocking about the notion of a Denver-based quartet of various skilled foreign nationals who deliver Gypsy motion, Sinatra-esque pop, mariachi power, and European symphonicism with an empurpled yet poised postpunk drive. Even so, Devotchka’s Nick Urtata is way more than a smooth singer with a Bryan Ferry collection. Leaping past eclecticism, the set opens with the grainy Polynesian groove of “I Cried Like a Silly Boy,” moving into nuanced Devotchka versions of Frank and Nancy Sinatra, the Velvet Underground, a folk traditional, and more. Their “Something Stupid” isn’t loungey; it’s meditational. Their “Venus in Furs” isn’t decadent; it’s questing. And their elegant howl through Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “The Last Beat of My Heart” is a genuine wonder.
Devotchka play Bowery Ballroom with the Mendoza Line, Friday at 8, $14, boweryballroom.com.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 13, 2006