SXSW showcase reviews
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., March 17, 2006
Emo's, Wednesday, March 15With all the contenders for heir to My Bloody Valentine's throne, Serena-Maneesh has all the qualifications. The loud squall, the breathy vocals, the five-minute-plus freak-outs of noise. Fuck shoegaze, though. The Norwegian sixpiece did the freak-out right. Singer/guitarist Emil Nikolaisen, dressed in a white shawl, eyeliner, and bandana, ended up on the ground several times during the set, thrashing around with his instrument with a Hendrix-like flair. Blonde, leggy bassist Elvira Nikolaisen looked like Nico reborn out of a CBGB's bathroom stall, and she bounced around the stage like Joan Jett. Blasting out songs from their self-titled American debut, S-M tortured their instruments for their own pleasure, emitting squeals and skronks. Even though Nikolaisen's shawl seemed to be getting in the way of his rocking out, he still got it together in time to get all angelic on the mic. In particular, "Selina's Melodie Fountain" showcased their knack for these angelic harmonies, as singer/percussionist Lina Holstrom whispered above the noise, which all the vocals were often competing with. It's the noise these cats are skilled in, those bang-blowing, filling-rattling fireballs that demand you uncross your arms and look at the stage, look at their mic stands wrapped in glittery scarves, look at all the band members losing their shit. Just look at anything but your vomit-stained Chuck Taylors.