The record release show is a time honored tradition. After all the hard work writing and recording an album, and all that time waiting for the final mix, the album art, and test pressings, it’s an opportunity for a little relaxation with friends, family, and label mates as you kick out some jams from your latest release. It’s a pat on the back, “Hey man, how’s it going?” and a handshake from that friend you haven’t seen since forever. And if it isn’t your finest performance, well, f*ck it. You’ll shred your next show. There’s a new album sitting on the merch table, and you’re gonna celebrate tonight with shots of middle shelf liquor and beers not named Pabst, maybe Budweiser, or Lowenbrau, a micro-brew, or something with an English name, ’cause you’re not buying. That friend you haven’t seen in forever, he’s buying.

Mystery of Two didn’t get the, “It’s ok to go half-a**ed during your record release show, because you earned it” memo. Instead, the Cleveland, post-punk trio took the Beachland Tavern stage Friday night as if they had something to prove. Oh, they said their thank yous, and acknowledged the newly released, self-titled album back at the merch table, but when it was time to rock, they looked out at that crowd, packed tighter than your typical Cleveland record release show, and rocked more like an out of town headliner than a local band taking a victory lap.

From the onset, guitarist/vocalist Ryan Weitzel was intent on shredding. Through “Gravity,” “Repeat It,” and “French Rocking Horse” Weitzel would move nimbly, like Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd of Television, then turn on the fuzz, coming off like a Dick Dale/Kurt Cobain, surf/grunge hybrid. The rhythm section of Jeff Deasy on bass and Nick Reilly on drums, didn’t get the memo, either. Deasy, with his bass slung low, and Reilly, all arms and all action, were both fierce and channeled, proficient, agile, and energetic. By the time, Mystery of Two got to “Swimming,” another cut from their self-titled album, the boys had worked up quite a sweat. It wasn’t a particularly hot night, and I don’t think it was the middle shelf booze coming through the pores. They weren’t getting rowdy and wearing their moderately priced beers, either. It was from effort, an effort to prove those songs on that album were no fluke, and an effort appreciated by all those in attendance.