SXSW showcase reviews
Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., March 20, 2009
Spiros, Friday, March 20
It's fair warning that a band will be playing very loud when the singer shows up wearing ear protection fit for an airport tarmac. With little fanfare, the Mayyors launched into a stealth attack that crammed two hours worth of pure adrenaline into a 30-minute hole. The Sacramento, Calif., quartet likes to operate under the radar, putting out limited pressings of 7-inch vinyl in black sleeves with tiny, inscrutable markings. Nevertheless, a small-but-devoted throng crowded in front of the stage, bopping along with singer John Pritchard in an act of communion. As squeals of feedback denoted a break between songs, Pritchard stood with his back to the crowd and a long strand of spittle extending from his mouth. Meanwhile, onetime Karate Party guitarist Chris Woodhouse would go from strumming 90 miles an hour to having his way with a table full of effects that approximated the sound of Eddie Van Halen being crushed up and snorted by the Dwarves. So you could say the Mayyors are an art-punk band, but you'd have to resort to analogies like driving too fast, discharging a firearm, or setting things on fire to convey the visceral thrill of their performance. This show went to 11 at 78 rpm with blown speaker cones. If the Mayyors keep committing wanton acts of salvation like this, their low profile could become increasingly hard to maintain.