Friday night practically had The Spin's soul torn in two: attend the cavalcade of local talent at Mercy Lounge's free anniversary show, or jump on what may have been our last chance to catch MEEMAW in action? It was a decision we questioned several times during the night, starting with the moment we walked into The End and were met instantly by a wall of youths who'd packed the place well before 10 p.m.
The first act, So Jazzy, had already begun their set -- a spacey, jammy, steadfastly repetitive and monotone style New Wave and post-punk hybrid. While their towering frontman certainly had the potential to make his shtick really work, he instead came off shy, nervous and unprepared, looking more as if he'd simply wandered onstage and sheepishly grabbed the microphone. So Jazzy was certainly not without its charm, harnessing some energy within its limitations, but ultimately left us a little bored after a few songs.
It was then we got our regular dosage of local DIY staple JEFF the Brotherhood. JEFF proceeded to do what it is JEFF does, breaking down the minimalist two-man stoner punk groove that has the bloggers and trolls in this town eternally divided. While they switched up between their earlier passages of lumbering sludge rock and newer fits of catchy psychedelic pop, it was clear the squabbles and divergences in the blogosphere had no effect on this room, which was packed with a sticky, hot and smelly rally of young folks hell bent on rocking the fuck out. From the moment we showed up, the excitement in the air was palpable.
As the clock approached 1 a.m., and most folks were still outside destroying their still-growing lungs with first- and second-hand smoke, the reformed MEEMAW took the stage, kicking things off with the ever-familiar "Cancer of Society." A flood of stragglers then charged the stage in full scream-along, and a bout of deja vu soon followed -- the ensuing ruckus was nearly identical to their last show, played just three weeks shy of a year earlier and on that very stage. The sardine-can moshing and crowd surfing continued as a sea of pumping fists cheered on the reunited trio, who replicated well their heyday and the scrappy style of twee that originally took this town by storm -- complete with adorably angsty delivery, communicable melodies and lyrics that both embrace and mock garishly patriotic, Walmart-fashioned Southern American cliches.They wailed through the bulk of their catalog in an all too timely fashion, stopping short around 25 minutes without even considering an encore. Whether it was our final MEEMAW fix remains to be seen, but it will have to do for now.