The M's

SXSW showcase reviews

Live Shots
Photo By Mary Sledd

The M's

Emo's Jr., Wednesday, March 15

Next year, the M's should lead a panel entitled "How to Play SXSW." In spite of transportation and technical trials, the Chicago rockers put on a tight set that was faithful to their indie muse. Having a crowd wasn't an issue, as the club reached capacity halfway through the Headlights prior set. Starting with "Dirty Old Dog," their 2004 eponymous debut's opening salvo, the quartet forged ahead with eight cuts from their fine new platter, Future Women (Polyvinyl). Discernable influences, perhaps – psychedelica, orchestra pop, fuzztone fantasies – but they don't hit you over the head. A nice niche is also carved out with three-way harmony vox, acoustic guitar, five-string bass, harmonica, and keyboards with real wood facades. Yet tribulations began before the M's plugged in, their touring van giving up the ghost between the Windy City and Old Waterloo. The four lads were rewarded for reaching their 10pm slot with a broken snare halfway through their showcase. Literally not missing a beat, their thick wall of sound continued after a replacement was quickly offered. And the M's know how to orchestrate a set, sandwiching the dreamy "Light I Love" between the creepily nonchalant "My Gun" and Future Women's anthemic title track march. Closing with the creamy crunch of "Plan of the Man" worked, but some fans wanted "Trucker Speed." Maybe at next year's panel.

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