Review: ‘Supreme Beings of Leisure’

There’s a vibrant, wide world of culture and influence that’s in effect on the Supreme Beings of Leisure’s ambitious and frequently captivating debut album. But the pop-minded dance band failed to exploit its present favorable industry buzz with a flat and spiritless showcase Tuesday at the unruffled Viper Room.

There’s a vibrant, wide world of culture and influence that’s in effect on the Supreme Beings of Leisure’s ambitious and frequently captivating debut album. But the pop-minded dance band failed to exploit its present favorable industry buzz with a flat and spiritless showcase Tuesday at the unruffled Viper Room.

And pity the few poor geeks who sat through the half-hour affair via an Internet Webcast of the perf.

Group is fronted by rookie singer Geri Soriano-Lightwood, whose smoky vocals and mysterious and seductive lyrics — as heard on the group’s self-named Palm Pictures release — make for pleasant enough at-home listening, but whose awkward stage manner and lack of focus at the half-full club hampered any possible bond between band and audience.

The first spoken comment from Soriano-Lightwood was a shameless plea for all to buy the band’s album, an off-putting move that was appropriately greeted by silence from the unimpressed patrons.

The three other faceless players (bassist Kiran Shahani, guitarist/bongo player Rick Torres, programmer Ram Sakurai) did little to help matters of intensity on the small stage, and were each seemingly content to let the pre-recorded samples and beats carry most of the musical weight and do most of the work.

The track “Sublime,” which boasted hyper rave beats, throbbing techno bass and sampled middle-Eastern guitar, was the lone standout track of the half-dozen offered.

Live trip-hop is clearly better left in the hands of capable club deejays than those of a green band such as the leisurely Supreme Beings. Goers who stuck around the Viper after SBoL found ample reason to throw down as the venue’s weekly drum-and-bass jocks quickly raised the energy level in the room.

Supreme Beings of Leisure

Trip-hop Viper Room 325 capacity $15

Production

Presented inhouse. [###]

Crew

Reviewed April 18, 2000.

Cast

Band: Geri Soriano-Lightwood, Rick Torres, Kiran Shahani, Ramin Sakurai.
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