A Reinvented Don Caballero (aka Damon Che) Attempts to Destroy Once Again - Oh My Rockness

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A Reinvented Don Caballero (aka Damon Che) Attempts to Destroy Once Again

September 29, 2004
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This, my friends, is an interesting one. What happens when the math-rock band to end all math-rock bands gets together for a mighty reunion that consists of original members Damon Che and, well, Damon Che? I'm not exactly sure, but you can bet I'll be at this show to find out.

Yes, Don Caballero has returned and is playing Thursday at Mercury Lounge. But without how-the-hell-did-he-do-that guitar god Ian Williams, can you really call it Don Cab? Pennsylvania's best band always had a rotating line-up as guitarists and bassists quit or joined other bands, but the two constants who formed the electrifying spine of this technically perfect band was Che and Williams. Now, Williams is gone to play in Battles (electrifying in their own right), and Che is left with a couple of other dudes to carry on the Don Cab name.

If anyone is up to the challenge of bringing this band back to life it's Damon Che. After all, he is the best indie-rock drummer ever to have lived. And there is not one shred of hyberbole in that statement. The things he can do with that kit are jaw dropping, even if he usually does them while in his boxers. Che always had a worthy partner (or, as some claim, adversary) in Williams who could not only keep up, but sometimes exceed the insane rhythm changes that Che laid down. I don't doubt Damon still has the crazy in him and will tear the place up; let's just hope the new dudes can keep up.

Also playing on the bill are Brooklyn's The Forms. It's interesting that they're playing with Don Caballero because the two bands seem to be on opposite ends of the math-rock spectrum. Where Don Caballero always has rapid-fire tempo changes and concise time signatures, The Forms are messy and sprawling in their complexity. They sound at times like they are all over the place and are straying too far from home base, but they manage to pull it together in the end. However, if they are to even be considered in the same sentence as Don Caballero they really have to work on keeping their songs from sounding the same. I mean it's a good song and all, but not good enough to warrant listening to it for a half an hour. If they can diversify and mix it up, they should become rich rock stars.

Don Caballero and The Forms play Mercury Lounge, Thursday, September 30th.

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