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Live Review: Attention System/Entertainment/The Prids @ The Drunken Unicorn, March 23

[ 0 ] March 31, 2009 |

AttentionSystem

By Stephanie Roman

It seemed fitting that both Attention System and Entertainment shared this evening’s stage with The Prids from Portland; Atlanta’s underground post-punk scene should be proud. These two local bands stand out as part of an exclusive and extremely talented pool of Atlanta musicians that also includes the hauntingly beautiful trio Feeding Fingers.

Attention System have been playing together less than one year, but have already perfected a dynamic live show, gained plenty of radio airplay, and were featured in a nationally televised commercial. Advising anyone to quit their day job in these times may not be sound advice, but these gentlemen should be ready to do just that. The five members have united from the ashes of formerly renown local bands including Creve Coeur, Slow Motion Crash and Siberia My Sweet. The band’s prior experience playing together is apparent and has allowed them to jump ahead of the curve and into their tight sound and confident stage presence.

This evening’s performance included a relatively new light and laser show on stage, with song selections from their first EP, as well as new material that is not yet released. Musically, the band could be compared with The Faint (back when they were fresh on the scene and working like the rent was due), but definitely have their own signature sound that blends synth-pop, driving guitar and bass, and electronic dance beats.

Outstanding tracks “Alibi (For A Paranoid Existence)” and “Siren’s City” are crowd favorites, and literally take your breath away with the professional panache that has been mastered by the band. “Siren’s City” in particular would fit right in at a rock-themed fashion show featuring heavy-lidded waifs stomping down the runway. The band is currently unsigned, but they are sure to make the right label’s collective purse very heavy, very soon.
Catch Attention System next month at Lenny’s on April 24.

Next up were Entertainment, a trio from Athens, GA. The band recently returned from SXSW, where they played the Post-Punk.com's “INDUSTRY DISORDER” unofficial showcase which had also featured The Prids. Rarely does Entertainment’s audience see the same show twice. Sometimes moody, other moments preening, or even self-deprecating, the band will not fail to deliver something we can relate to. But they will make us work for it.

Pairing expressionist lyrics with swirling drums and forgotten guitar chords does not make the music easily accessible to the average rock fan. Exceptions may be made for the danceable yet dark rhythms found in “A Seduction Walks” and “Flesh!” The latter offering would leave Gang of Four coveting drummer Barry Watts’ syncopation and raw force.
Imagine the Batcave with less camp, or punk rock with an antique ring on its middle finger.

Entertainment were also included on a benefit album called Connect the Dots, with proceeds going to assist The Prids after they were involved in a serious van accident earlier this year. Singer Trey Ehart has always held a soft spot for vinyl enthusiasts, and is proud to announce that Duchess archive (NY) will re-release their debut album Gender on 180 gram vinyl, limited to 500 pressings available April 14.
Entertainment will return to Atlanta for a performance at Lenny’s on April 23.

The Prids closed out the show at the Drunken Unicorn. On their hectic U.S. tour this March they’ve been going at a pace of nearly one show per night. Seems like either a challenge to fate or an homage to uppers by calling this their “We Won’t Crash” tour. It had been about five years since I had seen the band with Entertainment at this same venue. To their credit, they sound just as vibrant as I remembered, and the singer was also equally compelling to watch!
However, the din may have been a bit too loud in the small room, causing some of the vocals to be drowned in the wall of sound. I was able to pick out a few clear moments listening to the ooh-ooh chorus in “Before We Are,” which harkened to a similar part in the eerie Q Lazzarus track, “Goodbye Horses.”
The Prids continue to tour the USA through April 1, before returning to Portland, OR.

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