Thursday night’s stop into Mercy Lounge was met with a sight and sound to which The Spin has unfortunately grown unaccustomed: a local electro act setting asses into motion. Since the demise of Plastic Clap, and since appearances from groups like Plex Plex and Fly Golden Eagle are becoming more and more infrequent, Nashville’s booty-shockin’ pop sensation Cherub is a welcome addition. Melding a club-spawn, skull-shaking low end with a wall of guitars and talkbox pyrotechnics, the duo comprising Cherub also sport the silky smooth pipes to spread their appeal to all four corners of the dance floor.
Attendance was about what stereotypes would dictate regarding a dance-rock show in Music City. In fact, for a minute, new sponsor Vitamin Water’s presence almost rivaled the very crowd itself — a crowd that seemed reluctant at first to embrace hometown synth-pop big ’uns How I Became the Bomb. We could have sworn HIBTB were hitting the nostalgia circuit and all these new faces were politely clapping whilst awaiting the clamor of live drums to end. Of course, The Bomb didn’t become an international name by not knowing how to win over a crowd, and the influx of sing-alongers pushing their way to the front soon had the band’s melodic disco frenzy shimmering in all its sleazy, powerhouse glory. Even still, seeing these guys playing a short, opening set again was still strange and just a little unsatisfying. But then, the point is to leave ‘em wanting more, right?
Though they did indeed rock the house as if they were billed otherwise, The Bomb was not the star of this show. Melbourne, Australia's buzzy export and perhaps ironically-titled Miami Horror brought out the bulk of this mob — which, while barely filling half the room, made a ruckus we’ve rarely heard even downstairs in the much larger Cannery Ballroom.
The first two words in The Spin’s notes regarding Miami Horror read, “Duran Duran.” As narrow-minded as it sounds even to us, it’s pretty spot on. These pop-heavy, disco-based power anthems come straight out of a decade thrice removed and were executed with the kind of showmanship then not difficult to find on an arena stage. With no laptops in sight, these gentleman riffed out arpeggios with ease and manned multiple synths with their bare hands. Miami Horror pulls its power from a persistent and unwavering tempo, not unlike a DJ set, and segues often and organically into extended instrumental jams rocked with the utmost chops.
Benjamin Plant Josh Moriarty, no doubt raped repeatedly by every eyeball in the house (and vice versa), exited the stage almost immediately after the first song to change into a bright red jacket. This, we’re assuming, was so he could, several songs later, remove its handkerchief and wipe his brow ever so sensually. And we do mean sensually. Why there wasn’t more underwear thrown on stage (or any underwear, for that matter) is beyond us. Seriously, when exactly did that trend die? Because, if ever there was a time for Nashville’s young women to truly lose all control, it’d be during their encore rendition of Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al” — a road previously and recently paved in this town by our own Brandon Jazz. But how could they have known that all the way down in Oz?