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Live Review: Spiro Agnew, Sirly, The Stormtroopers @ Kimo's 4/28

Live Review: Spiro Agnew, Sirly, The Stormtroopers @ Kimo's 4/28

There was a three-band show last Wednesday at Kimos, though the word didn't get out very well -- they played to an audience of about ten, and I'm including the mascaraed door guy.

An evening of two-piece bands, the first was synth-and-guitar duo Spiro Agnew, my favorite act of the evening (and the band that brought at least eight of the ten folks in attendance). Layered on top of an upbeat drum machine (running off a lap-top) were vocals that ranged from despondent to angsty, accompanied by distorted, droning guitar and synthetic tones and chimes throughout. Lyrically, Spiro Agnew eschews a distaste for modern culture and sympathy for the helpless individual trapped within.

Take their song "Desert of the Real," named after the most famous line in Simulacra and Simulation, a philosophical treatise by Jean Baudrillard. In a nutshell, Baudrillard claims that human society is a simulation of reality, not reality itself. That's the kind of angst that drips from Spiro Agnew, a beat you can dance to but lyrics that make you feel lonely (e.g. "there's something dead inside me, but I know it's alright") and dissonant chords and keys that make you feel lost. I can really get behind pretentious music like that, and so I had a blast. You should check them out for yourself on June 16th, again at Kimos.

Sirly took the stage next; one musician handled the vocals and guitar, and the other had the drums. There were huge differences in the styles of the two band members - the drummer was laying down incredible and complex jazz beats while the guitarist/vocalist was mired in a simpler indie-rock jam vibe. When those two styles came together it worked out really well, but they didn't come together in every song. Occasionally the singing and guitar became a distraction from the consistently amazing drumming, but all-in-all Sirly was a compelling fusion of styles that you don't hear together all that often, offering a sound that has a lot of potential for further development.

The Stormtroopers came last in the line-up, and they were hands-down the hardest to take seriously. The bassist and singer had on white long-johns, and both he and his drummer sported cardboard masks painted to look like certain culturally relevant bleached imperial foot soldiers - a subtle choice. I can't imagine how long it took them to come up with a name.

Indistinguishable yelping vocals, competent drumming, the occasional interesting bass line, and a whole lot of energy was what The Stormtroopers had to offer. Their music was loud and rough and seemed at odds with their I'm-trying-really-hard-to-look-silly vibe. if the crowd was much, much bigger I might have been able to get around their costumes and jump around with some smelly head-bangers, but as it was I just giggled at them for a few songs, finished my beer, and jumped on the 49 to head home.


-Words Kyle Wheat

Photos Desiree Mervau

Published: May 05, 2010 |

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