The Austin Chronicle

SXSW Live Shot: Mozes & the Firstborn

By Michael Bertin, March 11, 2014, 9:45pm, Earache!

Here’s an idea: Have a drummer. Sure, most bands have someone who can keep time and that’s cool. Really, though, you’re much better served by having someone just beating the ever loving tar out of his (or her) kit, because that might be the difference between coming off as pretty good and exceptional.

As was the case with one of the first SXSW Music showcases on Tuesday, Mozes & the Firstborn. The frontman, an Iggy Pop lookalike doing a 1990 Dave Grohl impersonation, had the Eindhoven, Antwerp, quartet pushing toward the exceptional range of the bash meter. Their banshee on the drums all but annihilated the band’s recorded output.

So, instead of a “Torn and Frayed”-meets-Roky-Erikson tune like “Down With the Band” veering toward classic rock, it came off more like Abe Vigoda (the band not the actor) – volatile garage punk. And rather than being a lightweight Dutch Black Lips knockoff (“I Got Skills”), they raged like an LSD-free garage rock version of the Brian Jonestown Massacre.

Mozes & the Firstborn – raunchy and catchy. That’s hard to do if you’re not an STD. So yeah, frontmen will get the chicks, but good drummers make for better bands.

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