Live Review: Thick Paint, Mothers; Lucy Dacus, Adult Mom tonight…

Category: Reviews — Tags: , , , — @ 12:46 pm April 2, 2018

Thick Paint at Slowdown Jr., March 30, 2018.

by Tim McMahan,

I don’t remember Thick Paint’s  duo drummers in the past incarnation (at O’Leaver’s) or maybe I didn’t notice. I noticed Friday night at Slowdown Jr.

We could argue the pro’s and con’s of two drummers over a beer. My take is: Does the second drummer add anything to the sound that a single drummer couldn’t provide by just playing louder? The answer in this case is yes, most of the time. It certainly isn’t a gimmick, and they’re always fun to watch. Isn’t that the main appeal of two drummers?

I’d tell you those drummers’ names but Thick Paint doesn’t list personnel on its Facebook page except for frontman Graham Patrick Ulicny (and everyone knows bass player Sarah Bohling from Icky Blossoms). In addition to having a similar beard configuration as Jim James, Ulicny shares James’ voice. Actually, I tapped into my iPhone notes “Geddy Lee,” that’s how eccentrically high Ulicny’s voice is, and that’s not the only thing the band shares with Rush. There were times during the set that I could drop this band into the prog-rock bin thanks the chord choices and guitar lines, which actually reminded me more of Fripp-y ’80s-era King Crimson.

They’re at their best when they look past the intricacies of their guitar lines, lean back on those duo-drummers (and bass) and just swing, as they did on the last couple songs of their set.

Mothers at Slowdown Jr., March 20, 2018.

Headliner Mothers was a departure from the usual female-led indie band in their embracing of dark, arch melodies. Three songs into their set Friday night they played their poppiest number “It Hurts Until it Doesn’t,” off their last record. The rest of the night was dedicated to  mostly slower, ominous and powerful compositions that would make for great headphones listening (moreso than catching it live).

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When I bought tickets to tonight’s Lucy Dacus show at Reverb I could swear that the booking only listed two bands — Dacus and Adult Mom (who I’m actually more interested in seeing). In fact there’s three bands on tonight’s bill, with And the Kids. So even though this starts at 8 p.m. it could go past 11, which will force me to cut the Dacus set short (Some of us have to work in the morning).

Dacus’ latest album, Historian, was released this year on the mighty Matador label and received a rollicking 8.1 rating from Pitchfork. Adult Mom’s 2017 release Soft Spots (Tiny Engines) made Rolling Stone‘s Rob Sheffield’s list of the best albums of that year.

Note that someone from 1% posted a “low ticket warning” on this show over the weekend, so if you’re interested, better get on it…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2018 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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