Saturday, June 20, 2009

Lords/Titan/Barnburner/Kill Martyr @ Bar None, Kingston, ON June 18, 2009

I'm gonna start by saying this was one of the best front-to-back shows I've been to in a while. There was no band on the bill that disappointed me. Even though I wasn't really familiar with most of the bands, I really got into it. Usually, if I don't know the band, I just stand there. But all the bands pulled me in. They didn't just come to play, they came to perform.

I'd seen locals, Kill Martyr, on plenty of bills, but I'd never actually made it out to see them. Well, I regret that! Finally a Kingston product, that plays shows (I'm looking at you, Excarnation) that doesn't sound like a million other myspace bands! It's hard to really describe their sound. Vocals are hardcore, that part's easy. But the the rest is like metal/jam/noisecore? Regardless of what they sound like, they believe in their stuff. The vocalist was all over the stage, the guitarists were headbanging right along, and the drummer was relentless. The bass player was kind of static, but I'll let it slide. I (used to) play bass and when I performed, I didn't move around much either. And, it wasn't a huge stage so there wasn't alot of room anyway once you have the backline up. I was really impressed by Kill Martyr and I would have bought a shirt, but I didn't budget for it and I know I can get one later. Because I will be seeing them again. Guaranteed.

Montreal's Barnburner are hard to really categorize too. Nice and fast. Great presence. They were a good compliment to Lords. They have a real Southern kinda swagger to them. When I thought about who they reminded me of, I kept thinking of Iron Giant and Bionic. But alot more "in your face". The vocalist sort of reminded me of Electric Wizard. Just his tone or the way he trailed off sometimes, I dunno. Great band. Lots of fun.

Titan. Who I came to see. Man, were they good. I'd seen them play with Fuck The Facts a few months ago for the first time and they blew me away. I knew of them before that because a good friend of mine was in a band with one of their guitarists. But, on their first EP, they were more hardcore oriented, and I'm not a huge hardcore fan so I never really paid them that much attention. Well, they've got my attention now! Their new EP, Colossus, is amazing. And much to my utter delight, they played most of it. The only song I didn't know was "Proceed". I believe that's an old one. Anyway, they played "Next Winter" from Colossus. Probably their heaviest song and one of my favourites. I was really into their set. My neck is pretty sore today. I probably looked like a damn fool, headbanging, little bit of air guitar, pounding on my leg and stuff. I don't care. That's what happens when the music speaks to you. All inhibitions are gone. (a couple beer help too) That light switch goes on and nothing exists but you and the music. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's a beautiful thing. No power outages this time. Good thing, I wouldn't have wanted to miss anything! (For more posts about Titan, check the archives for a previous show review and a review of Colossus)

I knew I had heard Louisville, Kentucky's Lords album, Fuck All Y'all Motherfuckers before, but I couldn't remember what they sounded like. I knew I didn't not like them. But I still had no clue as to what to expect. I guess when you don't expect anything, you can't be let down. Right? I wasn't let down at all. I was treated to a set of PBR-fueled intensity. Edgy, southern-fried punk. I think what impressed me most was the speed and nimble fingeredness of the bass player. They reminded me a lot of the band Speedealer. That's a pretty hefty compliment. My shit ass memory is rearing its ugly head again and is sapping me of further details. But I will tell you, if you have the chance to see them, fucking do it. Y'all.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Random bits

Other albums I tried to listen to last night but just wasn't in the mood for: Giant Squid - The Icthyologist, Hooded Menace - Fulfill the Curse, and one by Eluvitie.

I listened to Oceano a few weeks ago. Yup, they suck.

I listened to Iwrestledabearonce a little while ago too. They didn't suck as much as everyone says they do. At least not the EP. Maybe the new album is really really bad. I hate the one dude's hair, and the singer chick looks like Jeanne Garofalo.

I still haven't finished transcribing my interview with Kylesa.

I haven't listened to "50,000 Unstoppable Watts" or "Abraham Lincoln" by Clutch in a few days. I do believe I have developed a tick.

Inevitable End - The Severed Inception

I didn't really like this one either. Not near as bad is Impending Doom though. I just really didn't like the vocals. A couple times I remember hearing punk toned guitar riffing over the deathcore vocals and drumming. WTF? I could still envision kids with bad haircuts doing that bop-sway "dance" they do. You know what I mean. I made it through the whole album but I really tuned out after a while.

Impending Doom - The Serpent Servant

I don't know why I downloaded this. The album title? Maybe I thought it was evil? Nah, I'm pretty sure they are Christian, and I'm pretty sure I knew that going in. Whatever the reason, I'm glad I didn't pay for it. At least with money. If they are Christian-core, I couldn't tell. I couldn't make out any words!! I usually don't mind that but you're not going to win over the heathens with mindless growling. There's plenty of J.C. hating bands out there who can do that. Vocals and lyrics aside, this album has more breakdowns than Bury Your Dead. You know, the band that has an album called The Beauty and the Breakdown? I don't know how the guitar player(s) could ever masturbate properly. They've got no rhythm! I never really want to hear The Serpent Servant again.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Toxic Holocaust w/ Dirty Lickens May 29 @ AKA Autonomous Social Centre, Kingston, ON

KPP does it again!! There have been so many incredible acts passing through Kingston lately. Who needs Toronto?! This time the festivities were hosted at the awesome AKA Autonomous Social Centre. I love this venue! I'm pretty sure my living room is bigger but that's what makes it so cool. I don't think my wife would want me hosting metal shows at our house, but at least I know it can be done. Tubby Custard and P!cked On were supposed to open but apparently they both broke up. So Dirty Lickens opened instead. I don't think I've seen a stranger combo of opener to headliner. Ever.

Dirty Lickens ( I keep wanting to say Smelly Lichens for some reason) was really not anything like you'd expect to see opening for Toxic Holocaust. I asked Marc before they went on what they were like. He told me they were punk kids playing folk music. A pretty fair description. Accompanying the bass, drums and guitar was an acoustic guitar, a banjo and I believe a ukulele. They played some pretty upbeat punk-tinged bluegrassy stuff. I hesitate to call it punkabilly though. Maybe it is. I dunno. Either way, it's unique flavour was kinda refreshing. Nice to hear some kids doing something different instead of every Tom, Dick and Harry breaking down with deathcore slam. It certainly was good beer drinkin' music. And I still can't get their take on " Big Rock Candy Mountain" out of my head.

I didn't really know that much about Toxic Holocaust other than that they kick ass. I knew some dudes from Rammer were playing with them now. And I had seen a picture of mainman Joel Grind in a magazine once. Said picture gave no sense of scale. He was much bigger than I thought. No giant, but for some reason I pictured him being more my size (5'7", 175) No matter his size, his stage presence was huge! You can really tell this guy lives and breathes his music. Speed and thrash metal course through his veins. I only knew the songs from the latest album (2008's An Overdose of Death) but I could have known none of the tunes they ripped out and still have rocked out as much as I did. I am glad they played "Feedback, Blood and Distortion" though. That one is stuck in my head too. They had the place throwin' horns and bangin' heads like it was the last metal show on earth. I got more armpit-to-the-face from Dan in the Sodom Shirt than I'd care to, but I didn't care. I was too busy enjoying the show! It's been a while since I've been to such a pure headbangin' show. I'll bang my head to just about anything, but this made me want to grow my hair out even more than I already do. Everyone was having a great time. I'm really glad I didn't get stopped by the cops on the way home. I had so much beer spilled on me, I coulda failed a sobriety test. There was a girl there taking a video of the show. I asked her if I could get a copy. I told her she could contact me through this site and wrote it down for her but she was really drunk so who knows. If I do get it, I'll post it on here so you can see for yourself what a great show it was.

I gotta say, the atmosphere at AKA that night was great. I felt very comfortable talking to people. I usually don't. Met some new people, found out who some people actually were, cross-invasion of personal spaces, and generally stayed out later than I probably should have. If I lived in Kingston, I might hang out there more. But since I don't, I'll just have to wait til the next concert.

Stay metal, my friends.