Saturday, July 26, 2014

Nothing @ the Mammal Gallery

If you ever go to the Mammal Gallery do not use GPS. It is hidden away on the outskirts of the GA State campus and the only reliable guides are crack heads and Marta police.The search would have been daunting expect for the fact I have missed Nothing in the past and was not taking no for answer this evening.

 The shop front entrance was deceptive and if not for the gaggle of punk rock hipsters gathered out side it would have blended in with the surrounding area. Inside the venue was a lot bigger than expected, about the size of say the Masquerade.The heat vicious and the turnout which was way more than expected only added to this. I did not know headliners Ceremony, another band I seem to miss every time they swing through was that popular. Iron Lung was the first band we caught. They are a sludgey taken on grind core. The snare was rather flat, but the drummer spent half of his time handling the shouted punk like vocals and the guitarist took to the more growled vocals.They did blend a mix of varied influences, despite the boomy loudness of their set.. Some of the riffs earned a head nod a most.

 We moved up closer for Nothing's set. They took the stage with Bright Eye's "Devil Town" , playing over the p.a as their fanfare.The first thing that stood out about there set and maybe it was do to being on tour with Ceremony, but these guys launched into their set with an energy more reserved for punk bands than shoe-gaze.The band's punk roots might be hinted at on their new album "Guilty of Everything", live they are paraded on full display. So a song like "Bent Nail" came across much more pounding. Thus answering the question I went in with... How is what they do going to translate to this crowd.

Their bassist held the most frantic energy live. He seemed to throw himself into every note.Not to mention I honed right in on the Morrissey tattoo he sported on his forearm, of course making him one of my favorite members of the band. He actually stood center stage while the two guitarists flanked him on either side.This also allowed me to hear which guitarist sang what part on the albums . Dominic Palermo handled the lower more monotone Hum like vocals, while Brandon Setta, took the higher airy more androgynous ones. The vocals were largely buried in the mix though being up close to the stage we more than likely caught the monitor mix so we caught more of Brandon's vocals.

Drummer Kyle Kimball clearly comes from more of a hardcore background the way he held his sticks as if prepared to bust into a break down. He made the most of the four piece set and kept the intensity level higher than the recorded work. Dominic midway through the set apologized with a slurred speech the fact he had way too much to drink, admitting they had come across some Moonshine, which Brandon confirmed was real deal moonshine. It might have made Dominic's vocals come across more mumbled, but didn't seem to after his playing otherwise and truth be told Shoegaze certainly lends its self to conveying an altered state of some sort. The bulk of the set was from their new album and the way in which the band took these songs to the stage continues to challenge and redefine what shoe gaze can be and doesn't limited itself to the 90's. Speaking of the 90's some of their more rambunctious moments gave the songs more of a Mudhoney like grunge feel.

We enjoyed the show, my ears rang the next day, but my girl friend who wore ear plugs was not bothered. The venue's heat did prompt us to leave before Ceremony took the stage as going home and catching up on True Blood after our week long tv cleanse, had more appeal than sweating it out. I hope to catch the west coast punks eventually in a venue with better ventilation or during the winter, my Norse blood just isn't cut out to swelter.    

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