“We’re gonna get a little Alanis Morissette on you for a minute,” explained the lead singer of MS MR halfway through her set. “But only in terms of bitchy vibes.” Indeed, the New York-based alt-pop duo, who are midway through their fall tour with Grouplove after spending the summer opening for Marina & The Diamonds, packed major attitude during their October 18 performance at Bowery Ballroom for CMJ Music Marathon, from the lyrics soaked in vitriol and frustration (“I still think of you and all the shit you put me through” went the refrain of one memorable song), to their surprisingly smoky and soulful vocals. The songs they performed, some taken from their recent string of EPs and others from their forthcoming debut album due via Columbia Records in 2013, were as dark and portentous as Florence & The Machine but unweighted by the high-concept theatricality.
In one noisy stormer, they clapped their hands in unison like flamenco dancers, and the MS. half of MS MR, a shock of pink hair, dark lipstick and black leather, swayed her hips provocatively as they moved into slower-burning tracks. “I know it’s New York and we’re all so fucking cool,” she said before launching a stomping cover of Patrick Wolf‘s “Time of My Life,” “but how about some dance?” The crowd cheered enthusiastically, and everybody danced. See the pictures from their performance up top.