October 23, 2008


Cinemechanica @ The 40 Watt - 10.17.2008

The thing you can't help but realize about Cinemechanica is that these guys are serious. They are talented musicians that care about what they do, and it shows.

Cinemechanica's album release show for their latest recording Rivals was billed as their last performance with their second drummer, Jeremy Fountain (Hi Rollers, Serka). The band has successfully employed the dual drumming not as a gimmick or strictly visual effect (I mean, there's no denying how badass it looks), but as a separate instrument bringing its own ideas to the composition table.

The band -- guitarists Andy Pruett and Bryant Williamson, bassist Matt Nelson, and drummer Mike Albanese -- took the stage after openers Bambara, Building the State, and A. Armada. They ran through a couple of numbers as low key as it is possible for Cinemechanica to play, drawing the lingering smokers in from outdoors.

One of my favorite things about live shows is when bands remember they're not just playing music (you can just listen to the album for that) -- they're performing. Cinemechanica's lighting impresses me every time. It's neither over-the-top or minimalistic; it's the perfect thrill-inducing complement to their guitar-dueling, dizzying, insane sort-of-math-rock sound.

And then Jeremy Fountain came on stage, and everyone knew what was coming. Albanese is a fantastic drummer. His energy is palpable, his drum parts intricate, and his sound powerful. And Fountain is not just along for the ride. There were times when the two were playing together, and the crowd (myself definitely included) watched in awe as they hit every single beat, down to the last cymbal grab, in perfect time with each other.

But most impressive were the separate parts. Nothing about them was simple or basic; Cinemechanica drummers are not just keeping time. Their parts are as integral to the song as every other part; they are just as carefully composed as everything else (meaning very, very carefully).

It had been awhile since I had seen Cinemechanica, but I was reminded Friday night why I've always said they are the best band in Athens -- they are superb musicians that never fail to deliver. If you missed the final double-drum attack, kick yourself a few times, but don't do it again.

Cinemechanica / Rivals

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