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  Corndogorama 2005  
  Headlights, Home of the Wildcats, Untied States, Teenage Meth Lab, Rizzudo, Airoes, and Maserati  
  The EARL  
  East Atlanta, GA  
Reviewed by:

At this point, it was more of a matter of determination than anything else that made Tracers and i head back for day 4 of Corndogorama. Well, that and the promise of actual performances by several local post and math rock acts that don't perform out too much.

When i got to Tracers' house to have dinner before heading out, we were looking at the schedule. Going on right before the first band we wanted to see was an act called Headlights. "Wait," Tracers said, "I think i have an EP by them around here somewhere." Sure enough, there it was. So we put it in the stereo and gave it a spin, and found Headlights to be a fun indie pop band with boy/girl vocals and lots of piano.

So, back to The EARL by 7 PM to see Headlights. We walked in after they had just started playing, and indeed, they were a fun indie pop band with boy/girl vocals and lots of piano. The bassist/guitarist/male voice also manipulated a laptop, churning out samples over a few songs. The keyboardist/female played her instrument well, switching modes so that on some songs it sounded like a piano, while on others it had an organ drone, and still others it plinked like a xylophone. A good use of her electronic instrument, and one that you rarely see other keyboardists use. Plus, both she and the male singer harmonized well. They were very fun, and i am glad that we went early enough to catch their set.

After Headlights, local math rockers Home of the Wildcats took the stage. This is the current band of Gary Flom and Benjamin Davis, whose work i have been enjoying for years, first in Purkinje Shift and later in Moreland Audio. With this new band, Mr. Davis has switched over to bass, while Flom still saws away at his guitar. Home of the Wildcats rocks harder than anything the two have done in the past, and by that i mean that the rhythms are catchier and less mathy. Well, that and they have vocals. In fact both Davis and Flom take turns singing, and they do a fine job of it. I really like what they are doing these days, and i look forward to another album from these two.

Next the side stage was swamped by fans of Untied States. I have never seen this band before, and i didn't see them tonight because i couldn't get anywhere near the stage. On the whole, they played loud, Slint-damaged rock with a certain degree of noisiness. I can certainly see why they have so many fans.

Meanwhile the main stage was set up for Teenage Meth Lab, featuring formers members of Paper Lions. I really liked Paper Lions, so i looked forward to what they would do tonight, with their new act. Well, the answer is that they are heading deeper into punk territory. If Paper Lions were kind of like The Buzzcocks, Teenage Meth Lab is more like Black Flag. This is hardcore punk, with deep bass, lots of loud power chords, and screaming. Not bad, but not spectacular either.

Rizzudo took the stage next. I haven't seen this band in a while, and when last i saw them they combined hardcore punk with keyboards and math rock rhythms for an interesting effect. Well, apparently they have updated their sound with more harmonies, both in voice and in keyboard. They would go from angular hardcore to melodious keyboard piece to organ drone and then back again, all within one song. Really, they sounded great, and i like the new direction a lot. Adding the harmonies and increased keyboard melody adds a lot of depth to their sound, and it is a fascinating development for the band. I will definitely be on the lookout for them playing again, hopefully soon.

Meanwhile a band was supposed to be setting up on the side stage, but they decided they wouldn't fit there and instead they set up in the middle of the floor, over near the pole that supports the ceiling. They set up the drum kit and then surrounded it with amps, all pointing outwards. All in all, the band consisted of a drummer, 8 guitarists, and a bassist. You would expect a band with that type of lineup to make an unholy racket, and i was almost expecting a Glen Branca guitar symphony. Instead they played unfocused guitar rock. I really didn't see the point of so many guitarists if all of them were going to play the same chord at the same time. The band was called Airoes, and i found them to be surprisingly dull. Disappointingly so in fact. Bummer.

As Airoes tore down their gear, Athenian post-rock ubergroup Maserati set up on the main stage. These boys make great complex music, but they rarely play out, so seeing them was a special treat. Well, that and they were the last band at the fest, so if we stayed and saw them we would have made it through almost every band at Corndogorama XI. So we stayed… sitting on barstools and resting, but we did stay! And i am glad we did, because Maserati put on a typically brilliant set. Their sound is like that of a mellowed out Mogwai, or a Tristeza that isn't trying to be so busy. Anyway, it was a beautiful end to the whole four day affair, with waves of guitar noise relaxing us, charming us, making us ready to do it all over again next year…..

Related Links:

Many of the bands mentioned here have been reviwed on EvilSponge before. Links have been placed where those bands are mentioned.

Read about the rest of Corndogorama 2005:
   Day 1 with Sasparilla the Singing Gorilla, Envie, Emery Reel, Suicide Girls, and Fantaj.
   Day 2 with Hopeforagoldensummer, Black Love, Y.O.U., New Roman Times, Hot Young Priest, Anna Kramer, Luigi, The Oranges Band, The Close, and The Selmanaires.
   Day 3 with Charm School, Ruvulo, Brainbox, No River City, Legend of the Giant Squid, Jetty, The Licentious 5, Tenth to the Moon, Magnapop, Brass Castle, The Sudden Rays, Hupcap City (from Belgium), Day Mars Ray, Deerhunter, The Liverhearts, Jet By Day, and The Orphins.


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