Monday, May 22, 2006

Live: Starlight Mints/Dios Malos

Record Bar || Kansas City, Mo. || May 20, 2006

Went for Dios, was redeemed by the Starlight Mints. Saturday night's set at the recordBar was a study in contrast. I had known a little about Dios Malos going into the night and was looking forward to seeing how they played out; my feeling now is that Dios is one of those bands that is well suited for the recording studio with their brand of melodic, too-indie-for-The OC Cali rock. Live, the vocal melodies that define the records take a back seat to the muddled sounds of the band's playing. I've come to trust recordBar's sound system for its quality, so there was something in the Dios mix that didn't quite gel.

The kicker is that there are some really interesting songs I've heard on the albums, so it was dissapointing to have them sound so one-dimensional at the show. On the plus side, I've never seen rhythm guitar played exclusively on a 12-string.

The feeling of dissapointment was short-lived, however, as a band I knew nothing of before their set, proved to be immensely entertaining. The Starlight Mints play light-hearted indie pop, that is too weird to be mainstream, but too infectious to be dismissed. The stage show was impressive, as the Norman, Okla., five-piece played with multi-colored background images that moved and changed to the music, turning the recordBar from intimate dive to de facto art house.

The Mints' energetic pacing played nicely following Dios' stoner-friendly plodding, making the Mints' set feel that much more fresh. However, while Dios is a band I'll still check out on CD (okay, download), I'm nervous that the Starlight Mints lose something in a singular-media format. The songs were good, but the mixed-media presentation gave them more depth.

In all, it was a night that inspired compound adjectives, good and bad. In the end, that's all you can really ask for from your $8.

Hear the Starlight Mints on myspace
(check "The Bandit").
Hear Dios Malos on myspace (check "Feels Good Being Somebody").

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