Monday, September 1, 2003

Article from Oklahoma Punk Scene Dot Com # 4

Below is the Mockingbird Lane portion  of Barb's Untitled column taken from issue # 4 of the on-line zine . Don't forget to go to Oklahoma Punk Scene to read the full article.

June sixth I made the pilgrimage to the American Legion Hall in Norman for NYC’s The Banned. Christophe, singer/guitarist for Mockingbird Lane, organizes and finances a lot of these shows himself and deserves more support for his efforts. His three-piece band started their set with an instrumental piece. Christophe’s vocals hit the low registers, as he went for a creepy/echoey effect. After being instructed by the Norman police department to turn down the volume, they finished the set with a Joy Division cover. The lights were turned out for Festival City Saints, with the darkness creating a more comfortable atmosphere. I’ve seen these guys a few times over the years, and I’m not sure why they didn’t click with me before the same way they did at this show. Their punk-twinged rock occasionally reminded me of groups as diverse as Hudson Falcons and The Undead. The four-piece band put on an all-out set, and I’ll look forward to seeing them again, now that it’s finally dawned on me that I should be paying closer attention. Norman’s Mandragora played next, with a wall-of-sound approach that had some in the audience comparing them to Blue Oyster Cult. The Legion Hall has a great ambience, with the walls covered in black and white photos of veterans in their uniforms, usually with serene or distant looks in their faces. A velour couch with tranquil images of boats drifting in reed-filled water made an especially comfortable between-bands pit stop, and it’s terrible to know the Legion Hall is no longer allowing live music shows. The Banned’s bassist, Brian Manning, suggested I go out to my car to listen to their “Songs of Innocence and Experience” EP and come up with a couple of requests. I ended up requesting four of the CD’s seven songs, and would have been happy to have heard the other three songs, as well! The Banned released a full-length CD “Imitating Art” in May of this year, and were showcasing their new material. Beginning with a new instrumental, the unfamiliar songs had the same energy, rhythm changes, and persistent melodies of their earlier material, and included some great guitar solos. Some of their songs would have prompted a hellacious pit at a better-attended show, and I’m looking forward to seeing them play at a different venue the next time around.