Words and Pictures by Thomas Hauner
Miike Snow is not an individual but a pseudo-supergroup of behind-the-scenes producers and songwriters, Bloodshy & Avant (Pontus Winnberg, and Kristian Carlsson) and Downtown Records in-house guru Andrew Wyatt. Though each is best known for pulling the strings on Madonna or Britney records, under Wyatt’s effects-laden vocals they coalesce into affable melodies and synthesizer shaped beats. At the Mercury Lounge’s intimate brick confines the group (backed by three additional musicians playing various samplers and synthesizers) still managed to eschew the spotlight, practically playing in the dark much of the time. Unfortunately the dance party intentions of their record weren’t promulgated clearly enough, so much of the brief 45 minute set was devoid of any stimulus that could match their catchy jams (or the Maccabees’ opening set). They opened with “Burial” and cruised through other hummable tracks, like their single “Animal”, “Silvia”, and “Plastic Jungle.” Canceling an earlier performance at Studio B, the group seemed to still be working out their stage dynamics and roles as performers. Not performing an encore made sense. The energy never quite evolved and the group still needs to perfect the art of working a live crowd. Hopefully Miike Snow’s hooky debut record won’t be their last.