1MM: Mahjongg @ Southpaw, Brooklyn

MAHJONGG: Yes, we Can Can Can

Photos by Claire Thornton and Aaron Richter

There once was a time when Mahjongg was one of the most exhilarating live acts around, spewing polyrhythmic experimentations atop rattling bass lines and catchy lyrical non sequiturs, all abstract as fuck but with a keen ear for pop structures. This was about three years ago, and we haven’t heard much from the Chicago kids until the release of their latest album, Kontpab (K Records). At Brooklyn’s Southpaw, Mahjongg, with a new lineup, relied primarily on songs from the new joint, including the phenomenally chaotic “Tell the Police the Truth” and the spastic silly “Those Birds Are Bats.” Reaching into its back catalog briefly for “Hot Lava” (off their debut, Raydoncong), Mahjongg closed with the hard-churning “Rise Rice.”

Final verdict: Ex-members Caryl and Gabe are sorely missed. But the revamped lineup holds the terrific new tracks together with intensity.

Photos and music after the jump…

Listen to Kontpab: http://www.krecs.com/mahjongg/kontpab/