Wonderful — Façades and Metal
They played one song off their shimmery new c.d., Experiencing the Loss, and, before that, deftly handled co-hosts Doug Dunbar and Shannon Hori’s interrogatory non-questions. Must be a broadcast journalism thing, those “questions.” Radio and tv folk usually ask their guests stuff like, “So, how long have you been beating your girlfriend, Tony?” and “You’re the bee’s knees and the cat’s ass all rolled up in one, aren’t you, Tony?” They’re more prompts than bona fide questions, and when a non-talkative guest like Mariani is on, the results, as you know if you watched, can be calamitous.
As he reported to me afterward, Mama Mariani’s favorite wordsmith felt obligated to, y’know, expound on Dunbar/Hori’s yes-no queries. When asked if he was surprised that Wonderful Façade beat frontrunners The Burning Hotels in the Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards for best New Artist, Mariani couldn’t just say, “Yes, Doug. I was surprised. Next question.” Hence, all the gesticulating and stammering. As someone who sees the underlying irony in things and has great disdain for sound bites, HearSay can empathize. Were you surprised Band X beat Band Y in a vote? cannot be justifiably answered in a few words! Making matters worse, Mariani and the camera did not get along.
As one of his friends said afterward, the writer looked, well, like a Neanderthal. The “friend” added that he thought that at any moment, Mariani, screaming “Fire, bad!” and “I’m gonna eat your head off!,” was going to be “chased out of there by villagers carrying torches and pitchforks.” The good news is that Wonderful Façade was, as mentioned, great. Even though CBS-11′s morning show doesn’t subsist on a steady diet of local music performances, maybe WF frontman Matt Van Y and company have helped change some minds. Don’t worry, local bands. If Mariani’s called on to provide expert commentary, he’ll merely send over his thoughts in a neat, handsome e-mail. Catch WF Friday at the Bryant-Irvin Starbucks at 8 p.m.
… What I miss about metal is tasteful musicianship. So much of what passes for metallic rock these days is merely loud and fast. The problem is that loud and fast doesn’t allow for subtlety, which is why most metal bands sound the same. Few of them are loud, fast, and melodic. The measuring stick by which all loud, fast, melodic bands are judged is undoubtedly Dragonforce. Their show last month at Ridglea Theater was jaw-droppingly awesome. Oddly enough, there were a lot of young folks there. I expected the place to be packed with ancient acolytes of ’80s giants like Steve Vai, Yngwie, and Satch.
Maybe youth doesn’t equal cluelessness, after all. The only North Texas band around that aspires to and occasionally transcends loud, fast, and melodic is Fort Worth’s Addnerim. The trio’s new disc, Sheep Amidst the Wolves II: The Attack, is pretty much perfect. It sounds crisp, it plays crisp, and its content is somehow derivative of both old-school and nü metal yet unique. It’s an epic feat, I say. Visit www.myspace.com/addnerim.
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