Music Review

Come reunion is dark and celebratory

Thalia Zedek and the rest of the original lineup of her band Come performed a reunion show Thursday at the Sinclair.
Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe
Thalia Zedek and the rest of the original lineup of her band Come performed a reunion show Thursday at the Sinclair.

The celebratory intent behind Come’s show Thursday at the Sinclair did not cool the music’s simmering dread.

As a reminder of the original (and lasting) impact of Come’s post-punk narcotic blues, Matador Records recently reissued “Eleven: Eleven,” the 1993 debut from the Boston band formed by Thalia Zedek, Chris Brokaw, Sean O’Brien, and Arthur Johnson.

The original Come quartet reconvened for a short tour that focuses on material from that dark beauty of a debut as well as earlier singles and the follow-up, “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” after which bassist O’Brien and drummer Johnson left the band.


Come’s original lineup has not played too often in recent years, yet looked and sounded comfortable on the Sinclair stage. By the fourth song, “SVK,” guitarists Brokaw and Zedek were huddling with O’Brien in front of the drums to conjure big, organic jams.

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The harrowing “Submerge” — with Zedek pleading “Just relax,” as if you could — capped an opening suite of “Eleven: Eleven” material that began with the grim “Dead Molly,” a thrashing “William,” spectral “Bell,” and the aforementioned “SVK.” It was a run of songs full of shifting tones and textures that showed just how far Come can stretch out without losing its core ache, as well as just how resonant this 20-year-old material remains.

Come then went back to its very beginning with “Last Mistake,” with Brokaw spinning tumbleweed guitar riffs against Zedek’s droning harmonica and haunted vocals. In a bookending effect, Come followed with “Cimarron,” the last song completed by the original quartet.

The band paired the meandering “Let’s Get Lost” and punkier “In/Out” of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” for another well-crafted display of texture and contrast.

Zedek dedicated the loping and quizzical “Fast Piss Blues” to her mother, who was at the show, before the band steered into the rocky terrain of “Car” and a version of “Off to One Side” that began with Zedek and Brokaw crafting a hypnotic guitar jam.


Come ended its return to home turf with the slow collapse of “Brand New Vein” and the Swell Maps’ cover “Loin of the Surf,” a speedy instrumental that was the closest thing Come came to flashing a musical smile.

The trio 27 opened with 45 minutes of slow-brewed indie-pop. Guitarist and bassist Ayal Naor and drummer Terri Christopher created wide open spaces for singer and guitarist Maria Christopher to unfurl the songs. The band bridged the fragile and the tumultuous during its set.

Scott McLennan can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @ScottMcLennan1