Saturday, January 21, 2006

Mazinga II @ The Cavern Last Night (Turn it up)

The first thing we noticed when we walked in was: "Holy shit, its packed in here," and considering that a lot of people were there to see a band thats playing with Glenn fucking Branca later this month in New York, we were pleasantly surprised. Maybe there are some people in Dallas that take experimental music seriously.... or at least know who Glenn Branca is.

Despite that initial excitement, we were underwhelmed by Mazinga. Not that there weren't some very good moments throughout the set (there were), but there were a few things that held it back. For one, we couldn't hear anything the singer was saying or singing, and the sound on all the instruments was just too low to really get the full effect. This lead to a fairly awkward beginning since we're not sure that the audience actually knew when the set began, due mostly to the low volumes on the p.a., and partially to the fact that the song they opened with didn't seem to get going until a couple minutes in. We spent a lot of the time waiting for the songs to really kick in and start to rock (loudly we might add), but it seems that most never did. It was especially disappointing that the mix was so low because it sounds like Mazinga has a lot going on in their songs... and it would have been nice to hear more of the details. Even though some of the songs didn't really seem to go anywhere, we could tell that this is band that has a lot of talent, and could easily become a killer live act if their songwriting and live performance were given a little more time to develop. We didn't catch any of the names of the songs, but the third one they played (with the heavy electronic percussion, busy live drums and ambient psyche noise) was pretty killer, and we enjoyed their use of pre recorded material. It seems that they had some computer problems too, which lead them to fall out of time at a few points, but nothing really serious.

Mazinga is going for a sound that is very "now." Psyche rock with ambient undertones and spacey, shoegaze texture that certainly rocks but is also smart and experimental. It reminded us of Spiritualized, Oasis, Stone Roses, and Ride, but not quite as poppy and way more compressed than any of those bands, sort of like the Ariel Pink of spacerock. These guys will be fantastic if they allow their songs to go farther and expand into new places, or at least turn up the volume to let us hear everything thats already going on. The good news is that their set left us wanting more, meaning that we dig the basic ideas and the sound that they are going for. It just doesn't seem like they are there quite yet.

We got there too late to catch Linea Triste, so if anyone saw them and has any thoughts, let us know.



Blogger zak said...

The opener was pretty good. The cello was used really well. Very ambient drone stuff with no beats to speak of. If you don't pay attention and take notice of what they are doing you could lose it and it would quickly become background music.

I agree with your assessment of Mazinga. What was going on was really cool. I dig the integration of the laptops and programmed drums with a live drummer playing along and the shoegaze-psyche guitars. I can't wait to see them again, headlining with the chance to really play a long set. That last song they did, which was killer I thought, was a cover of Suicide's Ghostrider I believe.

4:32 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

hmmm. Didn't even notice. Good choice though.

5:02 PM  

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