In a small market such as St. Louis, many blame the city itself when its most potent bands don't hit it big. However, the tragedy of Not Waving But Drowning has more to do with timing than geography: By its early-'00s breakup, NWBD was too sentimental for hardcore purists and too spastic for the burgeoning emo crowd. The group's proto-screamo would have been groundbreaking had it existed a few years earlier – and yet many bands have since turned similar juxtapositions of Sabbath riffs and Bane breakdowns into profitable careers. With this weekend's reunion show, Not Waving But Drowning finally has control over its own context: It's not another local could-have-should-have, just a defunct rock band performing a few old songs simply because it wants to play.
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