SHiNDiG 2004: Night 2

It being another Tuesday yesterday, it was time, once again, for SHiNDiG. Last night’s line-up included the likes of The Little Death, Salmon Arm and Mandown. More info on all these bands is likely to be found at the SHiNDiG site.

The Little Death opened, and sadly, weren’t cheeky post-new-wave intellectuals. Instead, they were more a…I’m not sure – indie prog-rock act, perhaps? With hints of Pavement, Rush and even a little Yes, they were hard to pin down. But give the boys credit for reaching for that rainbow. Only, in my mind, they’re still mired in the mud. It is true, they have potential, but they need to do some serious practising to get to where (it appears) they want to be, where muscianship can outshine the song.

Salmon Arm was really much more like I expected TLD to be like. Gorgeous instrumentals crossed with the occasional rocker, but all very atmospheric. The best thing I can probably say about them is that they both hinted at, and made me want to list to, ‘Houses of the Holy’. Featuring a cello (it’s amazing what a rich sound that instrument can produce), guitar, bass & drums, they kept things in a lower key that begged for a smoke-filled room. Vocals, when there were any, were throw-away, but I didn’t think the band the any weaker for it.

After an interminable & wretched jokes for beer, Mandown came on, sporting a drumkit with a skull-painted on, a classic hair-metal guitar (you know – the angular ‘star-shaped’ kind) and a look that would make Blink-182 look hardcore, I was really worried that we’d get some pop-punk pap from the trio. They were, instead. really quite respectable. Way too loud for me, and certainly not my style of music, but decent. Sadly, completely forgettable too.

I left before Mandown had left the stage, as I was getting a headache. Given my opinions, and having chatted some with the other judges during the course of the show, I was quite surprised to hear that The Little Death had won the night. A pity, in my opinion, but that’s the glory of SHiNDiG. And now, I’ll get to give them a second chance (which I’ll admit, they’re worthy of) in the next round.