Mexico 1910

Howlin' Wolf

May 21, 2005

Each Mexico 1910 concert has been more enjoyable than the last. Is that because the local rock band's gotten better? Possibly, but it helps that I've brought an increasingly open mind. I know the music's challenging. Good. This isn't happy, pop music. Cathartic? Maybe, but it certainly is confused, anxious, angry, patient, and calm. Anxious and patient? Angry and calm? That's the beauty of the music. Moods and speeds change all the time. Up and down and up and down it went at the Howlin' Wolf Saturday night. Miles and Ashley were on guitars, while David drummed and Brian bassed.

Mexico 1910, which formed in 2001, played songs that barely had any break between them. The concert was a sonic experiment. The band built and deconstructed the songs like technicians. Where the guitar had only hinted at a voice, if you didn't pay attention, all of a sudden there would be distortion. Same thing with the beat. There were spaces without a straight beat--just cymbal colors and an escaped kick drum smack here and there. Then, as the song went on, the rhythm slowly became clearer. It even went so far as straight metal punding and riffs at one point.

There was a lot of tension in the floaty and foreboding music, but release was rarer. Mexico 1910 built it up until I just wanted to scream, "Please just give us a straight beat now. We want to scream." Then, thankfully, they kicked a bad ass beat and uplifting bass line over screeching guitars.

Spare, haunting notes came from all sides. The two guitars interweaved so well that it was hard to know what to expect and where it's coming from, but then you're there. Back in the ring rocking.

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