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  MORELAND AUDIO w/ Giddy Motors  
  The EARL  
  East Atlanta, GA  
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It seems like it has been a while since i was at The EARL, but aside from peeling the layers of concert posters off of the walls in the hallway leading to the back, everything was pretty much the same. There is some comfort in the consistency of a well-known and beer-soaked concert hall.

Tonight's festivities promised to be good too: the last Moreland Audio show with current drummer Adam Overton. Overton has added a harder rocking element to the abstract guitar jazz of M.A. mainmen Flom and Davis, and i admit that i have enjoyed Overton's addition to their sound. When i first saw M.A. with Overton, about a year or so ago, i was somewhat confused by the "more rock less jazz" feel to things that he provided. However, since then i have really grown to like it, and i think that his strong drumming really helped out.

So he'll be missed. And, like the previous drummer Scott Robbins (from way back when Moreland Audio were called The Purkinje Shift), Overton is leaving Atlanta to go to graduate school. Robbins went to study something scientific in Rhode Island (i think), and Overton is apparently going to Art School somewhere in California. Very interesting, i am sure, but what i have realized is that if you want to go to graduate school, a sure-fire way to guarantee a good opportunity is to drum for Flom and Davis for a few months. Hmmm.... i want to go to Medical School in a year -- maybe if i fill in for Overton now the Moreland Audio Grad School Effect will help me get into Johns Hopkins! I would be willing to test this theory, but alas i fear i am far too weak a drummer to ever successfully compliment Flom and Davis, so someone else with educational aspirations and a sense of rhythm should step up and test this theory....

But enough about that.

The opener tonight was a British band called Giddy Motors. I have never heard of them before, and i have no real strong feelings about them either way after seeing them. They are one of the seemingly innumerable Slint-damaged bands wandering the landscape, playing post-hardcore songs with an emphasis on the ebb and flow of sound. Plus lots of screaming, can't forget the screaming. In fact, that was actually kind of interesting -- at times the vocalist's screaming reminded me of the vocals on AC/DC songs. I am sure that this is a selling point for lots of people, but for me it was more of a curiousity. Anyway, a few of their songs were interesting, especially in the bass work and the power chording, but overall they were, well, generic.

And then Moreland Audio played, and it was good. Very good. In fact, after their set guitarist Gary Flom came up to me and said, "That's how we wanted to go out." He quickly explained that M.A. aren't breaking up, but with no drummer and his impending fatherhood, a short break is called for.

And this show was, indeed, an appropriate way to go out. Moreland Audio played hard and fast, they were loud but not overpowering, and the guitarwork really flew. Moreover, there was a decent crowd, and the crowd was very appreciative. In fact, there were even some people dancing! To math rock! And no, i didn't see if they had a calculator.... Very odd, but really everyone was having a good time. A very positive vibe filled the room.

Moreland Audio played a blistering set, tearing through a half dozen or so songs. The guitarwork was, as usual, stunning. For those of you who don't know, let me explain Moreland Audio to you. Basically, the band is two guys, Gary Flom and Benjamin Davis. Both are highly skilled guitarists, and they have been playing together for years, so there is a real sort of unconscious communication in their playing that makes it seem holistic and entirely spontaneous. Really, the two of them are something to see. Behind their interplay, a drummer lays it down with the beats. For the past few years that drummer has been Overton, but i have been informed that eventually someone else will fill in the gap. At any rate, i consider Moreland Audio to be a quintessential math rock band: jammy and furious live, somewhat intellectualized on CD. Brillo, who was seeing them for the first time tonight, called their music, "Jazz for guitar geeks." Same thing really.

Anyway, i really enjoyed this set, and might go so far as to say that this was the best show i have ever seen them perform. Well, in the top 3 at any rate. Really, it was great.

So, one generic band and one stunning set from Moreland Audio equals an overall enjoyable night. I will miss Moreland Audio for the interim of their sabbatical, but i am grateful for this evening. Oh, and good luck in Art School, Mr. Overton.

Related Links:
  Moreland Audio's album release show, also featuring Mr. Overton on drums.  

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