Athens has been home to critically acclaimed bands throughout the decades, marking the Classic City as not only home to the University of Georgia and its students but also a booming hub for artists and musicians alike. One such band is the funky, weird but strangely groovy The Asymptomatics.
The Asymptomatics, or “the Asymps” as they are often called, is a band of nine members who have made “chaotic” the name of the game. Since its formation in 2019, the band has garnered a name for itself within the music community of Athens. After the release of three singles, they have now added one more to their list of original music. To celebrate the release of their brand new single, “Two Possibilities”, the Asymptomatics recruited a list of prominent local Athens bands to play at Flicker Theatre and Bar for a night of unforgiving energy and sound.
Walking into Flicker is always a surreal experience, particularly on the evening of a gig. From the outside, bypassers can hear the beat of the featured band while they smoke a cigarette and drink a beer. Walking through the red curtains that lead to the venue portion of the establishment, stationed in the room next to the bar, I could see a sea of people bobbing their heads to the band, Neat Freak, which was followed by Late Notice and finally, Bog Bod. The celebrated feature of the night, The Asymps, performed last. Between bands, members handed out flyers with the single’s cover art designed by Hollis Midriff and they discussed their excitement to play their cleanest-sounding single live for the first time.
The band’s set began as most of its sets do, with the lead singer Max Mahieu relentlessly jumping around the stage with the band, maintaining an aura of chaos that has defined the group’s career, particularly in the past year.
The single itself possesses an eccentric guitar-solo build-up in the outro. Though their MO is full-fledged passion, this song was a pleasant departure as it boasted a more meaningful and slower vibe. “Two Possibilities” explores that little gray area in life by rejecting the idea of black-and-white decisions and outcomes. A simple song to describe how intensely unsimple this life can be, especially when young, as the band members are.
“A lot of times it seems like there’s two possibilities but, you know, in reality, things are a lot deeper than that,” says Mahieu. “It’s not just decisions you make, it’s the decisions of the people around you and the ones you love that affect your life and affect their life.” Mahieu’s family is the inspiration behind the song, which was written by Mahieu and his mom, who is a musician herself.
It’s both happy and sad which is reflected by the musicians as they played with electricity and passion, making the audience feel the underlying irony of “Two Possibilities”. Mastered by Jason NeSmith at Chase Park Transduction, “Two Possibilities” incorporates a classic guitar solo from the lead guitar that amplifies the emotional aspect of the song.
“We wanted to have this big rock section at the end that instrumentally captures the emotion and the vibes of the song that the lyrics start at the beginning,” said Mahieu.
From there, the band immediately transitioned to play their classic, most-noteworthy hit “GTFO! (Gerald the Friendly Orangutan)” which was a lighthearted and silly conclusion to a great show.
Though the chaotic transformation of the Asymptomatics onstage is something that some would deem messy and unorganized, those with an ear for passion would comprehend that this gives the band its personality, hence its rising claim to fame within Athens. A funk outfit of shameless chaos and a force to behold.
“Two Possibilities” is out now on all platforms, with the Asymptomatic’s first full album slated for spring.
Analiese Herrin is a multi-platform artist whose passion is art and sharing art, in whatever medium it may take. She is both a culture journalist and aspiring PR specialist with the hopes of sharing her passion for music, fashion, visual art and more. Analiese is also a University of Georgia Journalism undergraduate student pursuing an MA in Public Relations. Besides writing for Vinyl Magazine, she also writes for Athens' Flagpole Magazine, is a model and she works as a stylist in fashion.