Photos by Meg Clark
Seeing former Whigs founder and touring MGMT guitarist in his new incarnation was - for me at least - a refreshing change of pace from his previous work. Dead Confederate, meanwhile, blew me away.
As mentioned, Kuroma is the new project of Hank Sullivant, the Athens, GA musician who's spent the last few years of his life under the immense shadow of a band he filled in as touring guitarist as a favor for some former high school friends. And even if NME or Spin want to pretend that MGMT has been around long enough to spawn a new crop of bands influenced by or as a result of the privileged group, the reality is that Kuroma has more in common with Sullivants first breakthrough The Whigs.
With a decidedly classic rock vibe and the swagger of his garage rock roots, Sullivant and Kuroma hit Mercury Lounge's stage last night in raw form; meaning they are still a very young band. Kuroma's debut Paris has been somewhat of an internet phenom. With no MySpace page and the entire record posted on his website, Sullivant's been garnering fans since before he even had a band to perform live with. As confirmed by last night's performance, the sound was much rawer than his recordings, bringing a heavy southern rock vibe to the diminutive tunes we hear on his website. Trust us, this is one that will only get better with time.
Conversely, Dead Confederate needs no more time. Hitting the stage with lots of hair and dramatic lights, they thundered through a set that left me in awe. I don't want to admit my ignorance, by I actually thought I was seeing someone else - that is to say, I knew who they were, but upon arrival had mistaken them for a completely different band they with a sound more fit for the OC (is that show even still on?). Next thing I know I'm smacked in the face with an amalgam of Dinosaur Jr.-meets-Mastodon-meets-Dead Meadow. Seriously serious stuff.