The Mermaid Lounge
December 12, 2004
BY MARTY GARNER
When I was a kid, I played on a traveling in-line hockey team. We matching home and away jerseys with numbers on the back. We all had the same black-with-red-stripe hockey pants. Our skates cost as much as an iPod and a half. And we were solid. We rolled into Las Vegas for the National Championship of Inline Hockey tournament, and we were soundly and efficiently waxed by a team from Vail, CO, that had plastic skates and helmets purchased at Wal-Mart.
Sunday night at The Mermaid Lounge, Cinema City were a lot like my hockey team. The bassist's amp head had to be worth at least $3,000. I decided that they better be loud if they were going to carry that much fire power.
By the time Cinema City finished their setup at 1 a.m., twelve people were left in the Mermaid, and the band was obviously a bit shaken by the low turnout. You never would have guessed it from their playing, however. The four guys rocked out like they were onstage at Voodoo Fest. I was impressed by their energy in a shitty situation. Bands that haven't been playing for very long normally put a lot of energy into live playing.
Songwriting skills--that's a whole 'nother matter. Cinema City were talented musicians. They played precisely, and with the exception of one or two dropped beats, they performed with a tightness that betrayed their age. Unfortunately, they had the Emo disease of long, un-edited songs. Their Emo-Punk, while not the most original sound around, is extremely marketable right now when offered up in shortened form. The songs did not have the strength to hold up to their length. Cut the dreamy(dreary?)interludes, cut the extended intros, and Cinema City is a radio-ready Emo band.