Reviews \

Vampire Weekend Cull Minions

AUSTIN: The early buzz for this two-year-old NYC-based "prep-rock" group grows into a fervor.

In between dances of animated jiggles, the crowd at the Mohawklast night (Nov. 29) was all too eager to lean back and expose thatsoft patch of skin just above the clavicle for New York City’s Vampire Weekend to sink their teeth into. But instead of draining the crowd’s essence,the band filled everyone with a youthful exuberance that emanated fromtheir clean-shaven faces singing bright, enunciated melodies asshimmering guitars jangled around with whistling key tones. The denselypacked crowd cheered this mix of Afro-pop flavors, charming indie rockaesthetic, and rattling instrumentation that’s yielding a sound beingdescribed as “prep-rock,” which may refer more to their collaredshirts, polite manners, and Ivy League educations than their music.

“CapeCod Kwassa Kwassa,” with its irresistible island beat and shout-outs toLouis Vuitton and Peter Gabriel, received quite an enthusiasticreception for a band whose debut doesn’t drop until January. However,according to singer/guitarist Ezra Koenig the last time theyplayed the Mohawk the attendance was much lower. “We thought Austinhated us,” Koenig said. Quite the contrary; everyone bobbed along withthe band like corks on a fun-loving ocean during “M79″ as the runawaykeys and rising snare roll led into an impeccable harmony.

We asked: Vampire Weekend has been tagged as “prep-rock.” What other bands might fit into that category?