MOONEY SUZUKI with the CARNATIONS and the MELLIGROVE BAND at the Tequila Lounge, March 29. Tickets: $9. Attendance: 350. Rating: NNN
the fancy kicking handstands and pirouettes that some leather-trousered dude was springing off the stage during the Carnations' opening alt-rock rumble wouldn't be easy to match for entertainment value. But New York's Mooney Suzuki didn't seem daunted at the prospect of having to follow the impromptu stage-dive ballet.After a lengthy changeover (which at 40 minutes proved 10 minutes longer than Mooney Suzuki's actual set), the group's four scowling black-clad members bounced out with guitars blazing. Halfway through the first number, they were already jumping on the side-stage speaker stacks and shaking their axes overhead in triumph.
Shaded singerman Sammy James Junior led the charge, racing through riffs unabashedly pilfered from garage rock classics circa 66 that were benevolently bestowed on the crowd like manna from heaven.
The hooky nature of the material from their swingin' new Jim Diamond-produced Electric Sweat (Gammon) disc suggested that all the attention given to the Strokes has been misdirected, even if Sammy's thinning hair indicates that the Mooney men's teen idol days may already be behind them.
There was no shortage of energy or perspiration, however, as they fired out one manic stomp after another, with barely time to hoist their cobra icon for between-tune worship. Their shirts were dripping wet before the 15 minute mark. That's a workout.
After two quick encore thrashes and a bar-top guitar solo to appease those shouting, "Moo-ney, Moo-ney," the Suzuki crew were out mingling with their new fans and jotting down e-mail addresses.