I knew, from having heard their two songs, “Sioux City, South Dakota” and “House of Cards” that, musically, I had only marvelous things to say about Lemming Malloy. They set the bar very high for themselves with those two tantalizing little songs on their site, and so I admit, I was expecting a good deal from them at their debut show. Is that fair? I don’t know. I just figured, if someone takes the time to create a modded steampunk keytar, the music should be as cared for, too.

And I was not disappointed, not in the least.

From the second they stepped on the stage I knew that this was something different. This was something unique, lovely, and wonderful. The first opening chords of “House of Cards” were even more electrifying than in the recording, the voices of Mr. Cartwright and Ms. Spitzer melting together to pure audial happiness. I was bopping and dancing and singing along, riding on a current of energy, excitement, and steampunk musical goodness.

As the set progressed, the band never lost momentum. In fact, they seemed to be having a good time. Can I tell you how refreshing it is to watch a band perform that actually looks like they’re enjoying themselves rather than being moody, dark, and over performative? Goggles and Marvelons, suspenders and headlamps, the steampunk aesthetic is certainly a part of the magic–but really, it’s the smiles, the winks, the conversations with the audience that made Lemming Malloy’s performance at the Local 506 in Chapel Hill so amazing. I was totally engrossed in the songs, including those I knew and those I didn’t–I was so excited to see “Don’t Act Like Prey” and “Brother Rabbit” on the EP because I was totally wowed by them both (not to mention all the other songs I wish I had right NOW).

The Curse... of Greyface!

The Curse... of Greyface!

This is, of course, not to mention “The Curse… of Greyface” (ellipses are mine). Such fun!

The camaraderie and band banter was second to none, and I honestly can’t remember having this much fun at a concert since my son was born. Even better, it’s a local band that really, truly, rocks. Even my husband, who isn’t exactly a steampunk aesthete himself, was completely blown away and truly impressed by the band’s tight, happy, clever set.

The EP is also quite lovely to look at; it folds out into a poster, and includes all of the lyrics (which show you just how much craft Mr. Cartwright puts into the words he uses–footnotes and everything!).

I give the show five out of five gears!

Visit Lemming Malloy here.

Buy the EP!