Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mr. Sax Man dominates The Union

First of all, apologies to We March. I had intended on seeing your set but was literally about to collapse due to exhaustion. I shall make it up to you one day.

I did at least witness Whale Zombie and Terrible Twos Friday night at the Union. Seeing both in concert was a first for me, and I'd heard grand things about both. I even read that Terrible Twos will be playing this year's South By Southwest festival. I mean, really, if you're playing that, you can't be all that bad, right?

So I of course fulfilled my usual obligation of getting to an Athens show two hours early, leaving, and then coming back again, treading through the quickly-accumulating snow with plenty of time to spare. Athens' Whale Zombie started their set shortly after 11:30.

I'm gonna tell you what, I really like these guys. Whale Zombie is one of those types that rely minimally on vocals (perhaps two songs total featured them, and you couldn't even hear them to be honest) and still manage to captivate you, a la bands such as Russian Circles. There's a ton of guitar distortion, some fantastic drumming and dancing, dancing, dancing.

Probably the best part of the evening occurred when one of the audience members jumped up onstage and randomly started playing a saxophone. I can't be sure if this happens often. What was best about this, however, was that Mr. Sax Man played on only one song, went back into the crowd and then did this Superman leap into some of the people in the front row about halfway through, causing all hell to break loose.

Seriously, I really enjoyed these guys. I might be a bit biased because I have a soft spot for (largely) instrumental bands. If anyone wants to form a similar band and doesn't mind teaching me an instrument (unless you need a trombonist), call me. We'll rock that shit.

The fantastic Terrible Twos came next. These guys are out of Detroit, and as mentioned earlier, will be at South By Southwest this March. And I'll tell you what: they're more than worthy of that festival. Keep in mind that this is coming from a guy whose ideal music-listening experience is listening to a combination of the Decemberists, Mumford & Sons and Cat Stevens while idly sipping a cup of tea. Terrible Twos are pretty much at the other side of the spectrum musically, full of writhing, ferocious punk with a formidable dual attack on vocals. I bobbed along fervently to the beat. I was rendered half-deaf by standing next to the speakers. And I enjoyed every minute of it. Check 'em out next time they're in town.

It was at this point that the combination of a lack of caffeine-induced headache and absolute exhaustion took its final toll on my soul; I had to leave right before We March began. I probably should've sucked it up in retrospect, but sleep had never sounded so good in my life. That and (I'm not kidding) I really was deaf in one ear.

Once again, apologies to We March. Please don't hurt me.

--Kevin Rutherford, Senior Critic

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