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Show Review: The Muslims, The Prayers, Xerox, The Sess @ Tower Bar, 1/6/2008

I really need to get to these reviews a little bit sooner.

This show was my first of the new year, and I brought my camera during a momentary lapse in my memory of how dark the Tower Bar usually is. It never left my bag.

I enjoyed the sets by all four bands (I’ve written enough about The Prayers and The Muslims on here that you should have been able to predict as much). However, I unwisely left my earplugs at home. All the bands were LOUD. And normally I wouldn’t mind as much (normally = earplugs firmly inserted into my ear canals), but it seemed to have an adverse affect on vocal clarity.

At first I thought the problem was localized to The Sess, who aren’t exactly known for their, erm, delicate singing style. But all the bands seemed to have this problem – the music was drowning out the vocals, or at least making them incomprehensible. Which was disappointing, as I’ve seen three out of the four bands play in venues with better sound and it pains me to say that they just didn’t sound as good as they have previously. It also confused me, because I’ve seen Lady Dottie and the Diamonds there my fair share of times, and never noticed a problem with their vocals.

Aside from that, though, all the bands pretty much killed and had me dancing around. I did notice an interesting lineup change – Brian Hill, previous drummer for The Prayers (he left them a few months ago), is now drumming for The Muslims, at least for the length of their West Coast tour. A brief look at The Muslims myspace page, however, has him listed as a band member, so maybe the change is a bit more permanent? Either way, he’s got their material down pat and seemed to be enjoying himself.

One other note – The Prayers played some new material (but didn’t neglect “Loose Lips,” my favorite of their older songs) that sounded like it was going off in a different direction for them. While I am a fan of the boyish harmonies of their older material, it’s nice to see that they’re not stuck in some sort of genre study, as I’ve heard some people say of them.