Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bobbaroo 2012 at the Rebel Bass

This was the second of 3 shows in a 5 day period. Hopefully I'll get to #3 someday, seeing as I'm already 10 days behind on this one... such is the life of a procrastinator. And really, can you blame me? Genetics class is fucking hard! Well, not that hard, but it sure does eat time. If you want to see what I've been squandering my time with, watch this movie I helped make for class:

Anyway, Bobbaroo was fantastic. The lineup consisted of Act of Impalement, Cannabisis, Flummox, Scott Fernandez, Kit Fistu, Soliam, and Axis. There were things to drink and smoke all over the place. The whole night was just a hazy blast.

First up was Act of Impalement. And wouldn't you know it, I fucking missed them. For all 1 of you that's been keeping up with this blog since the beginning, at the very first show I covered, I met a couple dudes that were badass. Me, my friend Caleb, and these other guys were the only ones hanging out before the show, so we met. We talked about Electric Wizard and one of the guys, Ethan, did a stellar impression of Varg talking about cornflakes. Most importantly though, they smoked Caleb and I out, like true gentlemen. What does all this have to do with Act of Impalement? It turns out that they're the same guys! So you'll understand that I'm inexorably disappointed that I missed them. No matter, I'll just have to catch them with Brother Ares, Joey from Hellbender's Poor Faulkner, and dark horse First Baptist at Springwater on the 24th. Until then, I'll just have to satisfy myself with their bandcamp.

Next up, and really the first band I saw was Cannabisis. Don't let their name fool you, even if these guys are potheads their music definitely doesn't have any "stoner" genre tags. These guys were fast, heavy, and mean. Lots of black metal, with a touch of metallic hardcore. The drums were great, really meaty and fast. Guitars were tremolo picked most of the time, and had a great mean edge to them, really visceral. Even the bassist, who looked pretty mild-mannered, was on top of his game, and fit the music better than I expected. In such a tiny venue (the Rebel Bass is just Harrison "Bobby" Fox's apartment with bands stuffed into it). I still can't believe this was these guys' first show. I absolute, positively cannot wait to hear more from these guys. If I could find somewhere to stream their shit I would, but at this point, all you can really do is take my word for it, hope, and wait.

Next was the artists formerly known as The Fallopian Dudes, Flummox! These guys remind of early Electric Wizard and Cathedral, if they had said "hey guys, were not playing nearly enough notes!" I could almost go as far as to call them Technical Doom metal. I see you scratching your head there at the computer, asking yourself "wait, what the fuck? Technical doom metal? How the fuck does that even make sense?" I'd be asking myself the same question if I hadn't seen Flummox embody it. The tempos themselves weren't necessarily fast, but these guys were definitely playing complicated stuff. When he's not tapping all over his six-string bass, Blake is belting out vocals that aren't entirely unlike those of the guy who sings "Ballroom Blitz." Their style is definitely groovy, but just a little too busy for my tastes. Still, darn good stuff. Check it out for yourself.

Next up was Scott Fernandez. These guys have a lot of balls using this name, which is taken from a norseman who murdered his whole town, and didn't even seed his torrents. What a monster. Nah, I'm just fucking with you. Scott Fernandez is one of the coolest, most wrongly modest and humble guys I have ever met. Talking to him outside, he made it seem like he never practiced, and just jammed for fun. But holy shit, once he got a bass in his hands, I knew all of his words about not being that great were the filthiest of lies. This man is a goddamn prodigy. He was impressive on a 4-string bass, and then HOLY MOTHER OF GOD WHAT IS THAT BEHEMOTH WITH 12 STRINGS. His fingers moved over it like water over a rock, like moths to a candle, like bees telling each other where to find pollen. I was all at once infinitely jealous, mad, and sad that I could probably never play that well, but mostly just completely enraptured. This guy. Just, this fucking guy. Watch this video for just a glimpse of what went on.

After Scott, on what I heard was something of a last-minute whim was Kid Fister Kit Fistu. This was the apartment owner Bobby Fox's own band, and as it was also a [belated] celebration of his birthday, Bobby looked like he was having the best time out of anybody. Almost everyone was red-eyed, rosy-cheeked, or both. We were all ready. With Brian Laws on drums and Jef (who played guitar Kit Fistu when I saw them at the Muse) on bass, this trio was fun. I'm not saying that as an at least, as in "at least they were fun". These guys kicked ass and were fun. Jef seemed especially animated, even running out into what little crowd there was. Elias from Axis came up and screamed into the mic with Bobby for a few songs. The amount of fun these guys were having made up for lack of anything else they could have had. This stream probably isn't representative of their sound as a whole, since they've been through so many iterations, but it's worth posting just to give a glimpse.

Next up was Soliam. These guys had been talked up by nearly everyone at the gig, so I was curious to see what they were like. I know I'm gonna get flack for this, but aside from interesting bits here and there, they really weren't my thing. They were definitely good at what they did, but it was just too much raw technicality and breakdowns, without much else that I heard. They just lacked enough depth for me to really sink my teeth into. I gave them a shot, I was up banging my head along with everybody else, but that's all they made me do. And they were very good at it, I definitely banged my head hard. But I'm just not that big of a fan of this type of technical or progressive death metal. Sorry guys. I liked the softer, more dynamic bits and the singing, but the rest just didn't suit my tastes. What do you think? Have I gone full retard this time? Listen for yourself.

The last band of the night was Axis. By the time these guys are going on, it's 2 AM, my phone has died (hence the lack of pictures here and for Soliam), and I'm in a nice comfy leather chair. One thing leads to another, and I've started to doze. This is no slight against Axis, these guys kicked fucking ass. But after 5 bands in 7 hours, I was absolutely out of it. What I was awake for was stellar. Spencer on drums absolutely killed it; I'm sure I heard a drum riff straight out of Cryptopsy's catalogue. That alone should tell you how much ass these guys kick. But that's just the baseline. Elias (also in Intoxicated Male) takes care of bass duties while Austin shreds on guitar; both string players scream and growl when moved to do so by Satan. The vocals were just right for the music. I can't quite put my finger on it, but though these guys are progressive death metal, I vibe with their style much more than that of Soliam's. It just clicks with me much better. If someone can figure it out, I would love to know what it is about these guys' sound that clicks with me so much more. Until then, I'm just going to keep following my gut instincts and call it like I see it. Er, hear it. Hear it for your own damn self here:

Whew! Just writing all of this out has made my brain tired. I'd say it was a very successful Bobbaroo. I mean, Bobby got drunk and had a great time, and that's the important part. Look for my review of Brother Ares, Clorange, Bell Witch, and Loss at The End, next!

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