April 02, 2006

SXSW Report #34: Detholz @ Hole in the Wall

On Saturday afternoon, Chicago quintet Detholz played one of the quirkier sets I’ve seen at this year’s SXSW. The lead guitarist used most of his stage banter to impersonate a televangelist with uproarious accuracy, and would often interrupt his band’s songs to deliver surreal spoken monologues. According to their press kit, Detholz formed at a fundamentalist Bible school (only to get expelled from it shortly thereafter), and its members have worked with both the Staples Singers and Bobby Conn. Needless to say, the band’s sense of humor can be a bit blasphemous. Their music can be traced directly back to the herky-jerky New Wave of Devo and Talking Heads; their tendency toward odd meters kept them from being as funky as the latter, but their intricate vocal harmonies make them more melodic than the former. There was also some very impressive six-string work going on, but the sound man buried it underneath the fire-alarm synthesizers. I enjoyed their set, but my eagerness to see Volcano probably kept me from fully getting into it. I’m sure that Detholz’ upcoming full-length Cast Out Devils will convert me --- pun intended!

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