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  PAPER LIONS w/ The Tom Collins and 1000 Fires  
  The Earl  
  East Atlanta, GA  
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I like shoegazery dreampop bands: i listen to mellow droning stuff while sitting at home. I also like laptopica: i listen to that sort of thing as i sit at work, writing code. I also like the punk rock: it's good music for weaving in and out of traffic on Atlanta's many highways. It also is very good live. Unusually good, in that a mediocre punk band can still put on an amazing show. Put another way, even if a band is not innovative they can still scream, bounce, and make me have a good time.

And some days, you just need the punk rock. The weekend after Thanksgiving, i was grateful for a punk show to just let it all loose. And The Earl, fortunately, had me covered.

The first act was 1000 Fires. Apparently this is a new-ish Atlanta band. I had never seen these people before, but they played competent math/hardcore fusion not un-similar to Fugazi. Another reference that kept wandering through my mind as i watched them play was "Metal Box-era Public Image Limited". Something about the deep bass and the staccato guitars really reminded me of PiL.

In my book, both are great bands to be compared to, and indeed i thoroughly enjoyed this band's set. Lots of energy and fury, and although they did not seem really angry, they still tore it up on stage. It was punk rock without the angst, but it still rocked. I would definitely go see them again.

The next act was The Tom Collins. We here at EvilSponge jokingly refer to them as "The Anti-Postlibyans". Honestly: i kind of hate this band. They stand up there with "pretty boy but hard drinkin' rocker" imagery, and rip off Led Zeppelin.

Honestly: that is what they remind me of. They have power chords, lyrics that try to sound both surreal and deep but instead come off as "stoned", and almighty rhythm. While i think he is wasting his talents, the drummer does rock hard.

So i sat there through their set, bored, and noticing how, when you have a sinus infection and stand in a loud room with earplugs in, the world seems surreal. Seriously: sounds came at me seemingly it random. It was disconcerting and vaguely interesting at the same time. And much more fun that paying attention to The Tom Collins. Ick.

It did not seem as if they played too long, fortunately, and then Paper Lions hit the stage. This is the third time i have seem this act, and the last time i saw them i classified them as math rock, with more emphasis on the rock than on the math.

However, it's been nine months, and this time the most obvious comparison that came to mind was, again, Fugazi. They make loud punk rock played with over-intellectualized rhythms. Now, i thoroughly love that sort of thing, and i really liked their set. However, i can't help but wonder if it was the beer which i had chugged in order to tolerate The Tom Collins that made them seem Fugazi-esque to me. I mean, sure, the comparison is there, but there is more going on in the band. I think.

At any rate, they sure were fun, and i would defintely go see them again. So this was a pretty good night. If only The Tom Collins hadn't of been there, but oh well.

Related Links:

Tracers also slams The Tom Collins.
A previous review of Paper Lions.


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