The Chuggin' Monkey--SXSW
March 18, 2005
"You guys were THE BOMB."--Jason
"I agree, one of the best performances i saw at SXSW. I am the new #1 fan!"--Noah
These are posts on The Exit's web page message board about their SXSW showcase at The Chuggin' Monkey Friday night. The point of the whole SXSW Festival was to stumble on a band like NYC's The Exit. They seemed like a sleeper at best. They played in the corner of a low-profile venue on a makeshift wooden stage. The size equalled the walk from Liuzza's On The Track's front door to the bar. They drew a crowd like an established, highly publicized band would have, though. People were shoulder to shoulder, and a group of ten looked into the open window next to the drummer from claimed spots outside.
The attention was validated when the trio started playing songs like the lives of their friends depended on it. They sweated, screamed, and shook their tense bodies around the stage in catharsis. Bassist/vocalist Jeff Darosa also smiled.
The Exit played melodic punk infused with reggae. Almost all of their songs were less than three minutes long, but the band wasn't in overdrive all the time. They conquered a moderate pace with dynamic guitars a la rock band My Vitriol and emotional vocals from guitarist/vocalist Dan Brewer. They changed tempos and directions often.
The crux of the band was the drummer. His sideways beats and controlled craziness were reminiscent of The Dismemberment Plan's Joe Easley had he been on speed. When the vocals and guitars wandered, the drumming was so fitting that it took over the melodic lead.
This is a band to watch. Hopefully they'll bring their fireball of a show to New Orleans soon.