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HOBBLE photo: stern

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new disciples photo: stern

 

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Enough About the King
Room 710, 12/18/03

The sound was blurry. I couldn’t tell what the guitarists were playing, due to their over-distorted tones. Strange lighting effects made it look like the dreadlock SG-playing guitarist had some sort of Slipknot-esque paint on his face. This perception may have been reinforced by his baggy pants and hip-hop dancing. His guitar tone was so mushy I couldn’t distinguish it from the general static effect of the whole band, yet from watching his fingers it appeared that he had a bit of experience and technique, and well coordinated sonically with the other guitarist. The other guy was playing an ESP through a Mesa Boogie, and his tone not as mushy but equally indistinguishable due to a sharper, more effected type of static distortion. He played most of the leads, running up and down the fretboard at random while pushing effect pedals with his feet. It wasn’t any more distinct than his rhythm playing, but the static got louder.

The bass player was more distinguishable, and seemed to be the forerunner of the group -- he moved around a lot, banging and slamming, and every note was audible. Pretty simple bass lines, but effective in the overall pounding, chaotic sound of the band. The drummer was talented, and kept very good time.

The singer. When he screamed there didn’t appear to be any words, although he may have been reciting some sort of verbiage in his head that corresponded to the rhythm of the band, but it didn’t sound like anything but a guy yelling random insults.

This band gets an A+ for stage presence and effort. They’re obviously not trying to make “music”, so I won’t judge them on any of the criteria relevant to music. They were great at making a big mushy wall of sound -- basically dance music with a lot of noise mixed in. I was surprised to find out that they were from Austin, because local acts tend to be less well practiced. They were obviously trying to fit into a “new metal” or “hip-hop with rock instruments” category, and sounded as good as any of the big guys who do this style. So if that’s your boat, Enough About the King will float it. If you’re looking to get pumped full of groovy anger, go see them. If you’re going out to see some good music, go somewhere else.

- Mike Scalzi

Rusted Shut
Room 710, 12/12/03

First, let me just start off by saying that I have to give anyone who actually attempts to play music much respect for having the balls to put it out there. I find that the older I get, the more I can appreciate different types of music on different levels like that.

Now let me tell you what I thought of Friday night at 710. You know that sound that it makes when someone gives you a raspberry? Or how about the sound when you’re watching a cartoon and something bad happens to the main character? You know where I’m going with this.

I couldn’t believe the noise coming out of the club last night. If I could use one word to describe the whole night, it would be ‘horrific.’ People were being driven out into the street in droves on account of the ‘music’ that was being played.

Awhile ago I saw Melt Banana down in Houston playing with the Melvins. I had just seen them previously in Atlanta, and was totally blown away. I had never really gotten into this kind of ‘noise rock’ so I was pleasantly surprised. I was halfway expecting that kind of a sound on Friday, but I honestly don’t know what was going on.

Thank God for Gorch Fock who always saves the day. Although without the trombone playing antics of the lead singer, it did leave me feeling a little empty.

Overall, this show left me wishing that my ears had been rusted shut.

- Corri Mava

speedloader photo: stern

Lonnie and the Complainers
Room 710, 12/19/03

In the case of Lonnie and the Complainers, I was surprised that they were not a local band because they sounded so loose and unrehearsed. After the show I talked to Lonnie and found out they were actually from L.A., so I told them that I’m from San Francisco and they asked me why I was down here. I told them I was here to “make the scene” and write a review of his band for a local magazine. Back home they call me the “Electric Romeo”(but down here I’m just another cowboy with a sad song). Anyway, he told me he was glad I liked the show and I said, “Where’d you get the idea I liked it?”

Then the old lady said to him, “Aw, he just blew in from the coast and thinks he’s a cocaine Romeo, so I’m gonna send him blowin’ right back up!” (Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf?) But then they gave us each a free t-shirt so I have to give them a good review, cause I take bribes, or at least barters, and after all, they were really nice guys.

By saying they weren’t very ‘good’ I didn’t mean that I didn’t like it. It just wasn’t tight and they sounded like they didn’t give a shit, but they didn’t give a shit pretty successfully. I remember the lyrics of one song went: “Bad movie date / I got home by eight / Now it’s time to masturbate.” This is brilliantly juvenile and self-deprecatory because you can hear exactly what they are saying, i.e., the vocals are clear and audible. This is rare these days, and the guys actually kinda sing, rather than just screaming. Lonnie plays an acoustic guitar and there’s another electric guitar player. They aren’t a very loud band, hence the accessible vocals. There’s not really much else to say about them. They’re from Hollywood, they sound sorta like Jonathon Richmond or maybe the Violent Femmes with more balls and man-jokes. Entertaining, if not musically intriguing -- but after all, that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

- Mike Scalzi

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