July 31, 2005
BY JASON SONGE
Was I missing something? Maybe I wasn't looking closely enough. Was this some sort of new punk-jazz experiment that I hadn't seen before? Was I witnessing music ahead of the curve? Nope. Turns out these guys just couldn't play their instruments.
There was no point to the music. It would have been funny if the piano/drums duo was trying to fool the audience into thinking they were playing something beyond the crowd's reach, but the lead singer/keyboardist talked with enthusiasm about the "awesome" tracks on Promis' CD. These guys believed that they were playing good music.
Assuming critics never had to sit through a Promis performance, it's kinda understandable they let the band continue untouched. They've never had to watch the keyboardist/lead singer look around his shoulder with a stupid smirk on his face as he wastes everyone's time. Yeah, it was really cute how he danced in epilectic time to piano stabs(subtext: no, it really wasn't). I'll give the band something--they had an ear for melodic progression, but I could have done just as well with enough time and a keyboard, and I don't play keyboard. The lead singer stabbed at the keyboard like a drummer playing the keys. He used a tape machine and an effects pad to process the keyboard sound.
The drummer had his own toy synthesizer, but he couldn't play either. He didn't do much better on the drums. Super sloppy, and not in a good way. The drummer sang some unintelligible lyrics before he ran back to his drums just in time to resume the beat.
This music was not fun to listen to. This was a trainwreck, but I think because the punk kids wanted to show solidarity and support for each other, they stood around the duo looking really interested in what the band was doing. This performance was boring, not fun and inspiring as it was apparently supposed to be. I gotta believe the one comment that preceded the writing of the music was, "Dude, wouldn't it be cool if..."