Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Trio of rock bands almost delivers

Concert review

By Chris Varias
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Whoever pieced together the three-way package that stopped at Cincinnati's 20th Century Theatre Tuesday night gets points for creativity.

Composed of My Morning Jacket, Burning Brides and Detachment Kit - a trio of national bands who are each on the brink of crossing over to a bigger audience - the show was like an alternative-rock version of those diverse Fillmore East triple bills of the late 1960s. You had Chicago's Detachment Kit, who play a disjointed brand of feverish post-punk; Philadelphia's Burning Brides and their straight-up hard-rock assault; and Louisville's My Morning Jacket, whose retro guitar-boogie sound is steeped in '70s country rock.

My Morning Jacket headlined, but Burning Brides are just about as popular, and any of the three bands was equipped to put on the best set.

At the end of the night, that distinction would go to Burning Brides, but not because of a spectacular performance. They were good, but it was more a case of Detachment Kit and My Morning Jacket failing to deliver.

Detachment Kit has risen to the point where they headline the Metro, Chicago's premier rock-showcase club, but the four-piece band doesn't seem so mighty away from its home base.

Ian Menard was technically correct in noting that this was the band's first show in Cincinnati. However, they played a much better set at the Southgate House in Newport last year.

Part of the group's appeal is its adventurous sense of humor. Menard left the stage to spend a song screaming in the faces of random members of the crowd. But often the humor crossed over to unfunny goofiness. If they can eliminate the bad between-song jokes it will do them wonders.

My Morning Jacket is compared to Neil Young and Crazy Horse. With his clear tenor, Jim James sings a lot prettier than Young. But who wants Neil Young to sing pretty? And the band's boogie tendencies are no match for the simple, magical groove Crazy Horse rides.

Burning Brides cut a ferocious swath between the opening and headlining sets, playing songs from their major-label debut Fall of the Plastic Empire.


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