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Mayor, Lightning Over Water, In Praise of Folly
Red Eyed Fly, Wed Oct 29, 2003

The Red Eye hosted an exceptional show Wednesday evening. The night kicked off with In Praise of Folly, a hardcore/metal outfit that tumultuously rocked with dynamic song structures and a bristling cauldron of screams and pleas. Although their set was a bit short, the music shifted between pre-war drum marches of hatred and angst to an all out Slayer-esque death plea, complete with the lead singer crying and sweating into the mic amongst the sharp and shift rants of his fellow band mates. I was smiling and giggling--that’s what I do when I’m really impressed by a band. During the last tune, the front man leaped into the sizeable group standing in front of the stage and started a mosh-pit himself. His final lyrics where something along the lines of “…would you please hold onto my hatred…I’ll trade this war for my hatred.” Sweet. Thumbs up to these kids, especially if you like emotional hardcore (but beware, Games and Theory are coming!)

The Austin Chronicle put Explosions in the Sky on the front of their precious publication a couple issues ago. Hopefully the members of that band and Mr. Chamy have got to check out Lightning Over Water. In the same vein as Mogwai, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions, L.O.W. drenched the crowd with a haunting and chilling ride of instrumental melodicism that shifted soundscapes with unique and embracing psychedelic fervors. I was really digging the young woman playing the theramin, an instrument from the 60’s that was often used by the Beach Boys and for cheesy sound manipulations in classic horror flicks. This thing is really mind-blowing, like a virtual reality instrument of sorts. You hold your hands in mid air between this oblong box-shaped piece of equipment with metallic prongs and antennae—manipulating the sound with simple movements of both hands. It was incredible and I was shocked that I’d never seen or heard of such a remarkable invention. She played it like a praying mantis or a programmed robot—often focusing her beautiful eyes upon a spot on the stage, keeping them there for extended periods of time—it was really sexy. The overall sound was full, sincere and appealing with an uncanny cerebral bliss—yummy.

Headlining was Mayor, a four-piece rock outfit that didn’t exactly hold up to my expectations or the demo that I had heard. Their recording was crafty and loud, comparable to stoner-rock stallions Queens of the Stone Age. However, the live show was a series of new tunes that I wasn’t exactly nodding my head to. The first tune had a metal feel, while the vocals were similar to Mike Patton-esque rapping. The set continued with more riff-rock and a cluster of desperate yells and screams. The band members were into their own stuff, had great stage presence and a sizeable crowd, but I wasn’t into their brand of melodic twists and turns. The performance was mediocre compared to the prior two bands. Someone in the crowd said something along the lines of their older stuff sounding a lot better—I’d never seen them before but would probably have to agree. -Smitty


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