The Mix doesn’t really have one, so vocalist Cindy Osbourne brings her own stage. No kidding — she spends the whole set standing on a small wooden platform, elevated about three inches above the common folk on the floor. She’s not very tall, so the effect isn’t all that pronounced, even in her thick-heeled boots. If the bar were nearly as crowded as it gets on a typical Saturday — standing room only like a subway car full of sweaty drunk people a typical subway car — you still wouldn’t be able to see her.
She shakes the mic like a maraca and sings in a sort of head-cold reverse falsetto that seems to limit her vocal range, but that isn’t really an issue. Stretching for WWA, tonight anyway, entails either brief screaming or a guitar solo that incorporates the high E string. Bassist Jay Decay usually leads the way, pounding out bass lines the way convicts with anger issues hammer rocks on work detail, and drummer Philip Capitano always finds the shortest distance between two points. Guitarist Steve Sonic is pretty much confined to rhythm work.
“Confession” promises to “die with you” without getting particularly dark or romantic, or deviating from a firmly ensconced nu-metal pattern, though Osbourne’s voice has a decent theatrical quality to it. It’s obviously working wonders for some of the audience anyway — two couples at tables up front are engaged in what appears to be a public-makeout contest. Consider that one team consists of two attractive women, one of whom has a taken a pretty good lead off toward second base, and you can guess how many people are still watching Osbourne stomp across her personal mini-stage. (Hint: What were we talking about again?)
“Liquid Sunshine” features a catchy stutter-step low-end riff and some formula-based guitar soloing, but the call-and-response vocal dynamic that gives the studio version extra pop doesn’t translate well tonight. Two cover songs probably do a better job of explaining WWA’s musical approach: The Cure’s “Lovesong” sung with more throaty aggression — “You make me feel like I am WHOLE AGAIN!” — and “Die, Die My Darling” played just like the Misfits would’ve if Glenn Danzig were a short lady standing on a small wooden platform.
“Now this dance ain’t for everybody,” Osbourne warns before the band launches into “Lovesong,” and, judging by the relatively low turnout and my own unenthusiastic response, I’m going to take her word for it. I’ll leave the dance floor to world-class PDA competitors and Evanescence fans with extremely specific taste.
Check out When Words Attack Saturday, September 19, at Dixie’s (8503 Broadway). Admission is free.