The Muslims were a band on an upward trajectory before they changed their moniker.
What's in a name? A bit more than one might think. This band is talented undoubtedly. They merge garage, punk and pop way better than the Strokes ever did. But the name change was about as far from a punk move as one can get. And it may have lost them a few fans.
The show last night at the Mercury Lounge offered solid musicianship by the former Muslims. The Soft Pack-as they are now called-rolled through their set in order to make a new name for themselves. But although the band is strong musically their live show proved low on energy. As loud and forceful as the studio recordings are they seemed to hold back on the stage.
And although many people in the crowd went to the show to see the Soft Pack continue their accent, most were newly wooed by the Murfreesboro, Tennessee based, Those Darlins.
Those Darlins strapped on their guitars and merged country and punk in what could be a female version of O'Death. The ladies traded instruments from song to song and each member took on the duty of front woman and lead singer. They recreated the offerings on their studio recordings in a new light. Things became louder and more intense as their set progressed. Visually-the Darlins strutted around the stage wearing gold sequence and spandex. But they conquerred the stage with guitars, ukes and harmonies.
They proved to be a tough act to follow.
However, the act that preceded them, Browns (from Brooklyn) who's front man looks more like a Barnes and Noble employee than a singer for a rock band desevedly won over the crowd very quickly. Bouncing bass lines circled as their singer ranted between a lou reed-esque monotone voice and a nearly harrowing scream.
And they set the stage perfectly for Those Darlins to knock it down.
(photos from the show will be coming soon)