The success of a show can be measured in different ways. From the business standpoint, success can be objectively measured by the bottom line, but bands can only go off of audience reaction. Nonetheless, there was no confusion of the success that the Mumlers and Afghan Hounds had performing at Commonwealth Lounge last Monday. The crowd responded with overwhelming enthusiasm as they soulfully drifted around the stage in rhythms befitting soundtracks to Film Noir and Grindhouse flicks. Sticking out from the multitude of trendsetters awaiting Afghan Hounds, one particular gentleman adorned in a Mr. Rogers ensemble writhed and twisted on the dance floor in a sea of Fedoras and shop keeper mustaches.
Based out of San Jose, The Mumlers, instantly won new fans over as they traversed across several moody tracks from their latest album, Don’t Throw Me Away. St. James Street had the audience swinging slowly as if they were hanging out in a speakeasy. Members of the band included instrumentation from a French horn, saxophone, and even a xylophone. With their previous album being compared to early Kinks records, the set was undoubtedly laden in early rock and soul revivalism. A perfect example would be the vocal harmonization that croons the phrase, “Won’t you change your mind”, in the album titled track Don’t Throw Me Away.
Afghan Hounds is led by The Growlers’ guitarist Matt Taylor and features Brian “don’t surf” Stewart on drums. The same eerie surf rock style that Growlers fans have come to love took only a slight reiteration in Taylor’s songwriting. Tracks from the Afghan Hounds included spacey roadhouse guitar licks and intense levels of vocal reverb. Other members from The Growlers including its vocalist, Brooke Nielson, showed up in support of their band mates.
Two bands performed earlier in the night for Commonwealth’s Anything & Everything: The Rambles and Youth Cattle.