MATING RITUAL

Published on December 22nd, 2021

MATING RITUAL by Kevin Doan

As indie rock duos go, Mating Ritual hit all the required marks. The brothers from Los Angeles have been making music together for years, previously as Pacific Air. Siblings Ryan Marshall Lawhon and Taylor Lawhon had to come apart and go their separate ways, with Taylor going back to school, in order to miss the process and come back together for Mating Ritual.

Formed in 2017 as a mixture of post punk and whatever outside influences creep into their intrepid brains, Mating Ritual have harnessed everything from bossa nova to disco in search of the perfect beat. Their debut album, “How You Gonna Stop It?,” was a testament to the brothers’ love of creating together. The 2018 followup, “Light Myself On Fire,” had the Lawhons leaning into their post-punk roots to critical acclaim.

They then vowed to release five records in five years — and are meeting expectations, whether they were kidding or not, with the release of “Hot Content” in 2019 followed by “The Bungalow” in 2020 and this year’s “Songs for the Morning and Evening Times.” The current record was recorded just before Covid lockdown but has a fatalism that feels timely. The first track, “Old Disco,” opens with a synthetic whoosh and a churning bass line and gets itself going with cheery couplets like these:

“Yeah, it’s a fucked-up time/You know, I think I’ll soon be gone/I say this with a smile on my face/because we’ll never leave this place, baby/Before the lights go out/remember what we look like now … Cause we’re the last ones left/at the old disco/and it’s burning down/Burn-burning down”

These aren’t controversial statements in our not-quite-post-Covid reality. The 2010s ended with wildfires scorching California and Australia; the next decade — well, no need to re-narrate the events of the last 21 months here. They’re reason enough to shake your tail as you live through the strangest of all timelines.

Mating Ritual and Low Hum perform 7pm Sunday January 30 at Respectable Street in downtown West Palm Beach. matingritualsounds.com |||  GET TICKETS ~ Tim Moffatt

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