Sunday, October 21, 2012

Catching up

So you might have noticed that I haven't put up a new article for a few months. What can I say but holy crap I have been busy! Who'd have thought that it actually takes time to do well in school? A thousand apologies to all bands I've seen and not officially reviewed. My memory is hazy due to the time between now and then, but here's a vague recollection of the shows that I've seen and haven't had a chance to properly review. Because of such fog in my memories, I don't feel like I can give numerical reviews (which I'm lukewarm on anyhow) out, so these will just be writeups.

All Them Witches, Across Tundras, and Windhand at Dino's on August 20th
This was my first time at Dino's, which to me seemed to just be a burger and bar joint with some space in the corner where somebody said "Hey Dino! What should we use the corner for?" "I don't know... how bout a band or two?" So basically the space is tiny. I've been to house shows with more room. Not only was it small, but the acoustics were pretty poor as well. It may have just been shitty PA systems, but vocals were scant with all three bands. Despite these blemishes, each band gave pretty great performances.
All Them Witches

All Them Witches are a local stoner rock outfit with a more serious, almost earnest soulful edge. I was reminded of Asteroid and Kyuss a bit when listening to their sound. Definitely worth checking out.

 Second up was Windhand. These guys are from Richmond VA, and feature Parker Chandler of Cough on bass, so you'll understand that I felt like an absolute ass-kisser wearing my Cough shirt to this show. Their tone was amazing, like getting sucked down into a tar pit by the balls. Just, so thick and gooey. My skin vibrated during their entire set. They also lit some incense, which was a nice touch. The only downside to their set was that despite how much my brain tried to imagine hearing it, I could not hear the girl singing at all, despite being less than five feet away from her. Her voice sets Windhand apart from other similar sludge/doom acts, so it was a bit of a disappointment not to hear her. Still, the rest of the band was unbelievably heavy, so it wasn't a total loss.

Last up was Across Tundras. I first saw Across Tundras with a much different lineup 2 years ago, so it was a treat to see them again. This time though, Tanner had recruited Mikey and Joey from Hellbender to play guitar and bass, respectively. Despite the subpar acoustics, they played a kickass show, and Tanner was nice enough to give me a Sage LP, so look for that review in the future.

Biipiigwan, Sons of Tonatiuh, Brother Ares, and T.G. Olson at Springwater on August 31st
Oh Springwater... You are terrible but I love you for it. On this night, Across Tundras' leading man TG Olson played a solo acoustic set, which included one of my favorite Across Tundras jam Stone Crazy Horse. The rest of the set he played what I can only describe as droney campfire songs with a solemn attitude. It was mesmerizing.
Sons of Tonatiuh

Sons of Tonatiuh (pronounced "Tahn-ah-tea-ah") are a fantastic crusty sludge trio from Atlanta. These guys rock. Their sound is rough and serrated, and their hardcore vocals are exactly what's called for. Their 7" was worth every penny of the $3 I paid for it.

Biipiigwan
Biipiigwan are death sludge from all the way up in Ottawa, Canada. I hope Springwater was luxurious enough for them... Their sound, like Sons of Tonatiuh is pretty much just straight forward no bullshit heavy shit. When I talked to him afterwards, singer Musqwaunquot Rice said that most of their music was about Ojibwe ideas and theology. I picked up their LP God's Hooks and I'm very glad I did.

Mi hermanos Brother Ares played a killer set as well, and may have even debuted a new song. I think they did. I can't remember. Regardless, even Blake and Gore described this show as one of their best ones, and no one knows better than they do.

Hull, Hellbender, and All Them Witches at Springwater on September 1st
This was my second time seeing All Them Witches, and essentially the reason why I'm bothering to write this terribly long catch-up article in the first place. These guys kick ass, and deserved to be written about. So I apologize deeply to you men in All Them Witches with your stylish hair and dapper facial hair, I shall give you a full review next time I see you. Your music is groovy and enticing and you deserve a far larger audience than what you have.

Hellbender! These guys rule. Not only are they probably the best local band, but such nice guys. It's always a treat to see their shows, because hanging out with Mikey and Joey is just as much of a treat as their set itself. Their set that night was as great as ever, and I was left grinning.

Hull (no, not that crappy Courtney Love band) are a band from Brooklyn who aren't the easiest to describe. They have some crunch like sludge, their vocals are similar to Old Man Gloom's Aaron Turner's finest bark, and they aren't afraid to melt your face with a solo or two. If it were up to me, I'd just call it Triumph Metal. Their music, to me, seems to express a notion of fighting hard in whatever battle you may be embroiled in, but precisely at the moment when the battle has turned in your favor. It felt like the moment when you've caught the football, the game's almost over, and you realize that you are going to score the winning touchdown. That moment of realized victory is what Hull feels like.

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