It seems like it has been a while since i was
at The EARL, but aside from peeling the layers of concert posters
off of the walls in the hallway leading to the back, everything
was pretty much the same. There is some comfort in the consistency
of a well-known and beer-soaked concert hall.
Tonight's festivities promised to be good too: the last Moreland
Audio show with current drummer Adam Overton. Overton has added
a harder rocking element to the abstract guitar jazz of M.A.
mainmen Flom and Davis, and i admit that i have enjoyed Overton's
addition to their sound. When i first saw M.A. with Overton,
about a year or so ago, i was somewhat confused by the "more
rock less jazz" feel to things that he provided. However, since
then i have really grown to like it, and i think that his strong
drumming really helped out.
So he'll be missed. And, like the previous drummer Scott Robbins
(from way back when Moreland Audio were called The Purkinje
Shift), Overton is leaving Atlanta to go to graduate school.
Robbins went to study something scientific in Rhode Island (i
think), and Overton is apparently going to Art School somewhere
in California. Very interesting, i am sure, but what i have
realized is that if you want to go to graduate school, a sure-fire
way to guarantee a good opportunity is to drum for Flom and
Davis for a few months. Hmmm.... i want to go to Medical School
in a year -- maybe if i fill in for Overton now the Moreland
Audio Grad School Effect will help me get into Johns Hopkins!
I would be willing to test this theory, but alas i fear i am
far too weak a drummer to ever successfully compliment Flom
and Davis, so someone else with educational aspirations and
a sense of rhythm should step up and test this theory....
But enough about that.
The opener tonight was a British band called Giddy Motors.
I have never heard of them before, and i have no real strong
feelings about them either way after seeing them. They are one
of the seemingly innumerable Slint-damaged bands wandering the
landscape, playing post-hardcore songs with an emphasis on the
ebb and flow of sound. Plus lots of screaming, can't forget
the screaming. In fact, that was actually kind of interesting
-- at times the vocalist's screaming reminded me of the vocals
on AC/DC songs. I am sure that this is a selling point for lots
of people, but for me it was more of a curiousity. Anyway, a
few of their songs were interesting, especially in the bass
work and the power chording, but overall they were, well, generic.
And then Moreland Audio played, and it was good. Very good.
In fact, after their set guitarist Gary Flom came up to me and
said, "That's how we wanted to go out." He quickly explained
that M.A. aren't breaking up, but with no drummer and his impending
fatherhood, a short break is called for.
And this show was, indeed, an appropriate way to go out. Moreland
Audio played hard and fast, they were loud but not overpowering,
and the guitarwork really flew. Moreover, there was a decent
crowd, and the crowd was very appreciative. In fact, there were
even some people dancing! To math rock! And no, i didn't see
if they had a calculator.... Very odd, but really everyone was
having a good time. A very positive vibe filled the room.
Moreland Audio played a blistering set, tearing through a half
dozen or so songs. The guitarwork was, as usual, stunning. For
those of you who don't know, let me explain Moreland Audio to
you. Basically, the band is two guys, Gary Flom and Benjamin
Davis. Both are highly skilled guitarists, and they have been
playing together for years, so there is a real sort of unconscious
communication in their playing that makes it seem holistic and
entirely spontaneous. Really, the two of them are something
to see. Behind their interplay, a drummer lays it down with
the beats. For the past few years that drummer has been Overton,
but i have been informed that eventually someone else will fill
in the gap. At any rate, i consider Moreland Audio to be a quintessential
math rock band: jammy and furious live, somewhat intellectualized
on CD. Brillo, who was seeing them for the first time tonight,
called their music, "Jazz for guitar geeks." Same thing really.
Anyway, i really enjoyed this set, and might go so far as to
say that this was the best show i have ever seen them perform.
Well, in the top 3 at any rate. Really, it was great.
So, one generic band and one stunning set from Moreland Audio
equals an overall enjoyable night. I will miss Moreland Audio
for the interim of their sabbatical, but i am grateful for this
evening. Oh, and good luck in Art School, Mr. Overton.