Bleat on the Brats


“You guys wanna hang out after?” Cute Is What We Aim For front-mope Shaant Hacikyan was looking for a friend at the end of his band’s emo-lite half-hour set—cue rabid screaming, a gratifying response for a band whose last Long Island gig, he admitted, was for a single-digit crowd and a single-digit paycheck.

There was this group of kids that were like 17 or something and they were saying something about like i hate how these people who are like 10 years old are getting into the club and i just turn back and i give them a dirty look —JBH88, LiveJournal

Yes, the underage crowd loves ’em, but CIWWAF’s latest, The Same Old Blood Rush With A New Touch, never aspires to seduce, as if the very suggestion of testosterone might alienate—they’re songs in search of an episode of The Hills. Even the best ones, like “Risque” and “There’s a Class For This,” nonetheless still beg for a brattiness—a smarminess, even—the band’s tepid mall punk studiously avoids. After they’d given way to headliners Paramore, Hacikyan did yeoman’s work, milling in the crowd and suffering the clicks of a hundred camera phones, trying his best not to look bored.

hayley came out first with a lantern and we were like uhh what. —5558249, MySpace

For Paramore’s first 16 bars, frontwoman Hayley Williams, dressed in all white, sat behind a synth, and did her best Tori Amos impression, before her band, all in black with red carnations, came out to blend into the background, visually and sonically. Think Evanescence: flashes of metal and an utter lack of rhythmic intelligence helmed by a vixenish lead inspiring crushes among sad boys.

hailey from paramore is my hero and i want to marry her —yourcheapnovity, LiveJournal

But apart from barking a little life into the sketch of a song that is “Let This Go,” Williams is no Amy Lee. Even when thrashing on “Pressure” or getting lost in a stripped-down version of “Franklin,” she was too cool-—too cold—for the room. Less textured, even, than Dave Grohl, on her version of the Foos’ “My Hero.”

While Paramore worked through their last couple of songs, Cute’s Hackiyan was parking lot pimping—taking flicks with bracefaces and talking on his cell phone, his eyes locked in an empty gaze, staring at some imaginary beyond. Then he and the rest of the band went to eat.

We all went to Applebee’s. CIWWAF was there but we weren’t near them—5558249, MySpace