Friday, July 29, 2005

Mallman, nite 5

Fort Wilson Riot was riotous fun. The campy cabaret-esque first band for Mallman's fifth night, nomadically ventured from Spanish gypsy infused vocals and licks, to punk, old radio soundbytes, rock, (someone said they heard Brian May style riffs from the guitarist), Eastern-Euro rhythms, to somewhat classical territories, and even electronic dabbling. They used Carpenters-like harmonies which were better than that sounds, about birds fighting. They sang of politics and a mockery of self-pity. Unfortunately, at this point I don't have their names. The woman lead is a really good vocalist who sings smoothly and almost, but not too sweetly, crooning harsh, bitter truths of the world with a depth of wry humor.

Comparisons to Thunder in the Valley and the Knotwells seem unavoidable due to the territories FRW venture in genre, attitude, and with lyrical content remniscent of the Knotwells politics, death, mockery, as well as being stylistically overall carnival, cabaret, gypsy, punk but unique in their instrumentation, and rhythms -- Knotwells are louder, more thrash and punk, TITV. . . just very different in instrumentation and vocals. The comparisons stem from the lack of groups in this town categorically under an umbrella of old-world gypsy music, twang, with punk rhythms and spirit, which is somewhat refreshing -- each entity really has their own thing going.

Viewing their website: I see that they indeed note those two afore-mentioned bands as "Schweet Local Music Schtuff" along with the Gleam, and Belles of Skin City. That says alot. Along with the fact that they also like Ween, Byrne, and media sites: Move.on, Guardian UK, and Democracy Now. You're beginning to get an idea. . . but not really till you see them. Which you can do at their CD release party August 11 at the Turf and CD release party August 19 at the Hex.

Beatifics . . . what more can I say about their luscious, intelligent power pop harmonies and guitar, and songs that feel like they're imbedded in my subconscious memory for years to come? Simply that their show was beautiful and swooning as always. Then (one more thing) they did a very pleasant surprise, a New Order cover which I absolutely loved. Keep going Chris, Andy, Craig, and whoever else you may add to your Beatific hordes. . .

Mallman. Wow, again. Always surpassing himself, it seems. . . I was more in the mood for some of his slower stuff and his ballads, somewhat wornout from their rock shows. Apparently, they were too, as they opted to "do a lot of slow ones tonight so we can recuperate." They played absolute favorites of mine, "Hardcore Romantics," and the strong, pulsating "True Love," along with piano solos by Mallman, including "I Work Here, I Grew Up." They were more casual with jeans and more down to earth, a little less glam, more solid rock (which is hard to imagine actually but people there might know what I mean). I love the faster glam shows but was thoroughly enjoying a slower respite. One alt-country number (Romeo Daze?) which I'd never heard, had the phenomenal Ryan Smith showing terrific slide guitar skills, with the timing and patience it takes to draw out the desolate soulful country blues sound.

They ended by completely rocking out hair band style to "Licensed to Drive," from Smith's high school days. Certainly, if you can't afford Def Leppard tonight, like me (sniff!) check out Mallman at the Hex with Eleganza and the Gleam. Whoo whoo. It'll be a riot.

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