The dimly lit basement of The Korova looked sinister. Perhaps it was the disco lights reflecting off the mostly empty dance floor — the Grasshopper Lies Heavy show was going on at The Ten Eleven, and SXSW had already engulfed Austin. Regardless, Sex Bomb Baby started shortly after 11 p.m. and performed with heart. The duo, comprised of Chris Carr (keyboards) and Sam Dudley (guitar), set up off-stage while a small crowd of friends and other bands on the bill crowded around. On the catchy opener composed of ’80s keyboard beats, “When You Say When,” Carr grooved along on the keys, preferring to take the tech-savvy route by synching the drumbeats to his iPod.
Dudley happily played his guitar while striking a series of awkward and nerdy poses. The New Wave-like “Addiction,” dedicated to local band XRY, was a display of minimal, low vocals, tribal beats, and distorted guitar. “Sex 44 the Assembly Line” sounded like the meeting of an extremely lo-fi ’80s New Order with a fuzzy, upbeat Nine Inch Nails. Dudley pogoed and wailed on his guitar while Carr kept the beat up by pouncing on the keys of his Yamaha. Towards the end of the song, Dudley proceeded to parade around the mic in a circle with his guitar held over his head while the feedback shrieked on. The last song, “Feed the Fire,” teetered on the edge of a dark wave as Carr set the sinister tone, but with vocals turned up way too loud Dudley sound more screechy and less ominous.
Even though they only played seven songs, the set seemed rushed and more like a dance-off. But they definitely dropped the bomb when they took a break from their short set to order a beer (or two) at the bar. It made them look more baby-like than sexy. With more people in attendance the outfit should be able to transform the dance-off into a true dance party.