This Little Underground
Published: April 5, 2012
Just look at Melbourne's Mini Prophets (March 28, Will's Pub). This post-rock outfit is also expert, to a dazzling degree, in fact. But for all their skill and math, this band's allegiance is to song, not just technical masturbation. Even with all their detailing, their music has fluidity, snap and presence. It's the difference between mastering technique and technique mastering you.
Also playing were the West Palm Beach twin brothers of the Dewars, whose baked, fried and vaguely psychedelic sound carries echoes of 1960s England. Most importantly, they showed a surprisingly astute melodic instinct for such a couldn't-give-a-shit mien.
I checked back in on Orlando's Bloody Jug Band at their CD release show (March 31, Will's Pub). Although they've gotten better, there's still something about them that doesn't jibe, and it's that they seem more like a product than an earnest band. Their swampbilly aesthetic is more about spectacle, novelty and high gothic camp than the intrinsic virtue of the styles they're emulating. I know and believe in the intricacies of folk music, and it's clear that lots of the nuances of BJB's own instruments aren't honored, like they were there to be seen more than heard. And that's why authenticity eludes them.
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