Saturday, January 31, 2009

Live Review: Jan 23, '09 Fuck The Facts w/ Titan, Rozea Haven @ AKA Autonomous Social Centre in Kingston, ON

There is something about small venues that is just better than larger ones. So when I found out how small AKA Autonomous Social Centre ( hereafter referred to as ASC) was, I got excited. When I got there and saw how small it was, I was, as the kids say, pretty stoked. Not that the lineup itself didn't have me pumped already. The ASC is quite literally, a house. The main floor consisted of the concert area, a "beverage" area and a patio. Upstairs, I believe housed at least a dozen people. In like, 1600 sqft, TOTAL. Living room venue = awesome. Needless to say, once you packed 50-60 people, a stage and 3 bands worth of gear into a 15x30 room, it gets a little intimate.

I had come right from the tattoo shop so I was in no hurry to start rubbing up against a bunch of amped up kids, so I planted myself at stage left, right by the front door. (shorts, bad choice) I could see the whole show without a) irritating my fresh ink and b) getting molested by the drunk ass (at least. probably more) chick in the Holly Springs Disaster t-shirt. Anyway, enough setup. On to the show.

First up was local band, Rozea Haven. I've seen these guys a few times now. They haven't disappointed me yet. Nothing groundbreaking about them but they are very skilled at their respective instruments. Stylistically, I'd say death metal with a bit of melody. Not In Flames type melodic death metal, but it's not all blastbeats, and it's not all fancy guitar work. The guitar work is there, it's just not the driving force. It's more of a group effort. I was very impressed with the bass player. Envious would probably be a better word. Performance wise, they have some work to do. Pretty much a "stand there and play" band. I couldn't see the drummer that well from where I was but I did see Jesse the vocalist move around a bit. Granted, the venue was tiny and full so they didn't have much room to work with, but they were no different than when I've seen them before. All in all, they got the crowd going, my ears ringing and I would show up early to see them again.

Titan!! The fist thing I need to say about Toronto's Titan is: Amp-gasm!!! Every amp they had was awesome. Orange, Emperor and Ampeg (from what I could see). You had me at Orange. I know. The 2 bass cabinets were almost as tall as I am. Each. Titan is one of those bands I have a real hard time categorizing. Crust-core? Like Black Ships (Chris on guitar was wearing a Black Ships shirt actually) or Javelina or something like that. It's got the agression and vocal delivery of hardcore but it's much rawer, grittier, dirtier, crustier, sludgier and longer. Their sound is, in a word, titanic. Pun intended. Huge sound with that heavy bottom end. The place was even fuller by the time they hit they stage but they did more with less room. It was very obvious that Titan are pros. Every member of the band had their own presence. Their performance was great and very tight. It was really too bad they were limited to a half hour set. They have been here before, and I think the organizer was really impressed with them so hopefully they will come back soon! They were worth the $10 themselves.

Last but not least, Fuck The Facts. What do you get when you mix a small ass venue, too many drunk and/or amped up kids, and an avant-garde grind band with the word "fuck" in their name? Pure.Fucking.Chaos. That place exploded!! A couple of the guys "working" the show had to hold the masses back to pretect not only the equipment, but Mel, the knee-high to a grasshopper, 90 lbs soaking wet screaming her ass off frontwoman. How sounds like that can come from such a person is beyond me. She's tough too. Whenever there was a breach in the defenses, she'd fight 'em back without missing a beat. And she kept looking directly at me for some reason. Either she thought I was creepy looking, funny looking or hot. My money's on creepy. FtF put on one hell of a show. Such a small venue is prefect for their brand of grind. Loud, fast and sweaty! They'd pause just long enough between songs for the guy behind me to yell "Yeah!! Fuckin' right!! Whooooo!!!! Play Shitluck!!! (or something like that)" Pretty damn annoying, pretty damn quick. I only saw one guy leave bleeding during the set, but he came back. They tore that place apart and left no prisoners. Can't ask for any more than that!! Other than, come back!

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