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This Little Underground

Our live music columnist calls out Best of Orlando voting and checks out KEN Mode, Ceremony and Kisses

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Closing out the trifecta was the release show for Hollow Leg’s Abysmal (Aug. 3). It’s one of the year’s best Florida records, and this event packed every ounce of the homegrown pride that entails.

Besides their fine-etched aesthetic, what I dig about L.A.’s Kisses (July 30, the Social) – who are now on notable alt-pop label Cascine – is that they don’t just recycle the parts of the ’80s that have the circumspect benefit of history-proven academic favor. As a result, there’s freshness of spirit and in-the-moment joy in their dance-ready sophisti-pop. And that’s why, though the turnout was modest, the show erupted into a total dance party. What manifested live was how good and real of a band they were for a synth-heavy act. And don’t be fooled by their nerdy in-person charm – anyone who’ll drop a Debbie Deb beat and shamelessly sport tacky-ass resort wear onstage is packing unseen reservoirs of swag.

But, to my own surprise, my night wasn’t yet over. I was exiting the venue when club promoter Gerard Mitchell ushered me next door (the Beacham) saying that I really needed to check some action out. On paper, I knew what was happening: Mexico’s Molotov was playing. But I wasn’t entirely prepared for the wildly kaleidoscopic cultural rock spectacle they were. Despite the Jägermeister sponsorship, this show felt like a fervently organic affair because of the passion of their fans. Molotov’s range is impressive enough, but the fact that their fans stayed on the train for the ride is even more notable. I don’t get down with it all, but I’m impressed by the scope and devoted spectacle. The hot chemistry between this band and their fans makes their live experience a rock-en-Español juggernaut.

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