Menu | Rating System | Guest Book | Archived Reviews:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z



  The Drunken Unicorn  
  Poncey-Highland, Atlanta, GA  
Reviewed by:
Performance Rating:
Sound Quality:
Overall Rating:

What's a Minion to do on a greeting card company mandated holiday? Why, head out to see post-punkish bands perform in a converted parking deck of course! Since the untimely demise of The Echo Lounge, it seems that The Drunken Unicorn is becoming more of a venue. That's fine with me as the place is comfortable, and has good sound with reasonably priced beer. (I do wish they carried draught beer though...)

The first act tonight was a four piece from Chapel Hill, NC, who are enigmatically called SNMNMNM. (After their set, when i asked the tubaist how to pronounce the band name, he said, "Just like it's spelled: SNMNMNM." He was able to rattle it off without thinking, no doubt after years of practice. I tend to get confused and add a few too many "unem"s to the end of it...)

So, yes, this band featured a tubaist. He took the place of the bassist, and played his tuba through effects pedals. And actually, if i hadn't seen him hefting the instrument, i might have thought he was just a very talented bassist. That is, his playing laid down a powerful rhythmic backing for the songs, and exceeded any expectation of "novelty instrument" that i may have had. He actually created a lot of really interesting sounds by combining that horn with the effects pedals.

In addition to the tubaist, the band has a guitarist/trumpeter, a singer/guitarist/keyboardist/accordionist/trombonist, and a drummer. Yes, there were a lot of instruments on stage, and yes, the band did use them all. And they used them well, creating catchy pop tunes with interesting textures. I especially liked the one song featuring the trumpet, wherein the drummer played a riff that reminded me of the drum part in the Iggy Pop classic Lust For Life, and all three of the remaining band members danced around on stage while playing. They also played one tune that was heavy on the synths and guitar effects and that really sounded Flock of Seagulls damaged. It also featured hand claps from the whole group, and was a lot of fun.

In fact, i would say that despite their confusing name, SNMNMNM are a lot of fun in concert. They created a really festive atmosphere, and i would definitely go and see them again.

There were three bands on the bill tonight, and, after SNMNMNM left the stage, we assumed that Elevado (a local act) would be up next. Instead, surprisingly and much to our delight, Asobi Seksu set up next. Since they were the main reason we had come out, it was good to see them go on in the middle and not the late night headlining spot. Hey, we Minions have dayjobs, and had to work early the next day!

Asobi Seksu went on at 11:30 and played until 12:10. Into that forty minute set, they crammed a bunch of songs. I guess it helped that they played fast, much faster than on their debut album. Still, the songs sounded good as they tore through rocking versions of Sooner, Walk on the Moon, and I'm Happy But You Don't Like Me off of their debut. These songs were played fastly and furiously, and they sounded really good. The mix could have been better though, as i felt that Yuki Chikudate's voice was slightly overmixed and James Hanna's guitar was rather undermixed. Overall, it sounded good though.

I was rather pleased to hear several new songs tonight, and to note that the new material is as fun and energetic as their previously recorded work. Asobi Seksu can craft a catchy tune, and i look forward to more from these people.

And since they were done early, we were able to head out and get a decent night's sleep before work the next day. Not a bad VD after all....

Related Links:
  Asobi Seksu, their self-titled debut.
Asobi Seksu in concert in November of 2004.

Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Concert Review menu.