the choice of tragic wives
9 Lives Saloon, Atlanta GA • March 30, 2000
Sometimes you just get lucky. I was wandering around Little 5 Points looking for something to shoot, see, or hear. In a last ditch effort to not go home, I happened into a desolate, painfully, and surprisingly empty 9 Lives Saloon. Oh, what a lucky girl to find the right band playing in the wrong bar.
The choice of tragic wives has found a way to weave the astonishing splendor of irresistible vocals with unadulterated progressive rhythms. Lead singer/guitarist Nico Chiotellis’ voice wraps itself around a note like an effortless current of natural electricity after a summer storm; with just enough voltage to shock you but not enough to hurt. He’s found a way to give a show instead of putting one on, which is not an easy job when you’re playing to an audience of three. With the ghosts of Radiohead, Morrissey, and Nick Drake looming in the shadows, choice of tragic wives gives a just right fusion of stirring restlessness and passionate damage.
Drummer David McFarland pounded without trepidation on the fast tunes and managed to give the same amount of gracious and earnest easiness to the slower songs. Bassist Max Allstadt and lead guitarist John Degregorio provided the matchless subtlety and heart that music of this caliber demands.
This band has taken upon the hardest of tasks, trying to do something musically that explores honest emotion. As misfortune would have it, they’re from Boston, which is a long way to go for a show, but given the chance, it’s a trip I’d take faster than you can say baked beans.