Some things in life are a given. The oceans will be salty. The government will suck. And Barn Burner will put on a great show. It's natural. It's logical. It's a universal law. In this case, Barn Burner just happened to be headlining. As an added bonus, the three local support acts didn't totally suck. Win-win!
The night's festivities were kicked off by a band called Basalisk. This young band really impressed me. Definitely not a one-dimensional band, they mixed a handful of styles into their songs. I could hear influences ranging from Iron Maiden, to latter-day Mastodon and other proggy outfits. The keyboards were a pleasant surprise. I'm not much for keyboards unless they're Hammonds and I was worried the Korgs would remind me too much of Dragonforce but that wasn't the case at all. I could put it this way, when I noticed the drummer was wearing a Scale The Summit shirt, I was not in the least surprised. The band gave me a copy of their demo and I look forward to giving it the full treatment in a future KofN post.
I have to be honest. I don't remember much of Ponderous Chain. Their set coincided with the peak of my 3 tall cans of PBR buzz. I haven't seen them play with a clear head yet. It's not intentional though. The tiny stage at The Mansion can tend to hinder the performance of the band but these guys didn't let it get in the way. However, the somewhat technically precise nature of their music doesn't necessarily lend itself to much in the way of jumping around and such. I originally labelled them "Meshuggah-core". While not entirely inaccurate, it was kind of an off the cuff remark. While not nearly as "djent" as Meshuggah, that "flavour" struck me along with their otherwise melodic deathcore sound. I'd have to hear them again to really figure it out, but I can say, their performances have been improving each time I see them.
As of yet, I have been unable to find any sort of internet presence for Vera Pearl. Thus, I had no idea what to expect. Sometimes that's for the best. You can't be disappointed that way. There would be no chance of disappointment anyway. Vera Pearl floored me. Despite being down a couple regular members and having the venerable Dan Vokey (ex-I Hate Sally, ex-The Chariot) fill in on bass/vocals, they still delivered an extremely energetic and intense show. Math-core, noise-core, whatever you want to call it, it hit me like a cinder block to the face. Complicated arrangements, red-faced screams/bellows/yells, absolutely crushing (on a small kit) drums and a tight, tight performance left nothing to be desired. Except more of it. These guys could do some damage on the Canadian scene alongside KEN Mode and Fuck The Facts. And beyond.
With what little hearing I had left at this point, it was time to damage some other parts of my body. You guessed it. Bangin' time! Montreal's Barn Burner blew the roof off that place. By my estimate, the turnout was low for a Saturday night. But what may have lacked in numbers, was counter-balanced by enthusiasm. Adequately lubricated by $4.25 tall cans of PBR, the gathering of bangers put on a clinic in "How To Fuck Up Your Neck." But that's typical for a Barn Burner show. Tunes like "Scum of the Earth" and "Holy Smokes" were made for banging your head. The Kingston show was originally supposed to be in support of Priestess (as I assume the rest of the date on the mini-tour were). But from what I hear Priestess is pretty much kaput. Barn Burner decided to press on and as such, turned the string of dates into headlining gigs. Deservedly so. During part of guitarist/vocalist K. Keegan's always entertaining between song banter, he informed the attendees that the last handful of shows all went very well. He said "That's what we call steady giggin'".That would actually sound pretty good as the name of their as yet untitled third album. Bangers III: Steady Giggin' sounds pretty good to me. In fact, Barn Burner played two songs from said (unsaid?) album. The first was untitled and the second was dubbed "No Rest For The WIccan".Both were rip-tacular. Don't you just love the BB play on words? As on other setlist inclusions such as "Beer Today, Bong Tomorrow "(one of my personal faves), "Dark Side of the Barn", and "Brohemoth". Their phenomenal set was bookended by "Earth's Crust" and "Wizard Island". They say "Saturday night's alright for fighting". Not this Saturday night. This Saturday night was alright for banging. I can't think of a better band for a night of beers, bongs, bangin', and the brotherhood of metal camaraderie. All hail the Giggernaut!!
Barn Burner's most recent release, Bangers II: Scum of the Earth
is now available on vinyl! Get it here: www.barnburner.bigcartel.com
But, um, save me one will ya? I've been busy.