Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tijuana Goat Ride, Brother Ares, Dawn, and Black Table (NY/NJ) at the Hymen House

Ah yes folks, it's time for another show review! This show took place at the thoughtfully-named Hymen House, which is named for the street upon which it sits: Heiman street. Longtime NashVile readers will recall that this is the very same household in which I interviewed band members from a plethora of different bands, including Brother Ares and Dawn. Coming back again was a delight. In the few times that I've been there, the Hymen house has been full of fun and interesting people. It's cozy, and the walls are covered in fliers from shows past. There's also a wall featuring a shrine to a complete stranger, including pictures and some of her graded papers. But enough about the venue, let's get to the bands.

First up are local bangers Tijuana Goat Ride. This band contains members of former Nashville gut-rumblers Seawitch, whom you should definitely check out. But do that later. Read about TGR now, because they kick ass. Sonically, they're thick and heavy and loud and just everything nice. They have kind of a stoner sludge sound, but they're not satisfied to stay at a crawling pace all the time like most stoner-y, sludgy bands. These guys mix in angular if not downright technical runs in with meaty riffs, all while effusive drummer Chris Fox hammers away. These guys have a fantastic mix of galloping fast and thundering slow parts, all while keeping a head-nodding groove. And have I mentioned Niki Carolan's vocals yet? This girl can scream! It's somewhere between a hardcore scream and a black metal shriek, but regardless, it's effective. Bassist Christopher Frey throws some cleaner vocals into the mix, strengthening the stoner metal aspect of the music. Check out some show footage here:

Next up was Brother Ares. Sheesh, for the amount of press I give these guys you'd think I'd be at least band girlfriend by now. But really, these guys end up playing with a lot of cool dudes, and guitarist/vocalist Blake Conley always invites me to the shows, so how can I refuse? Anyway, on this night, they were as good as ever. It felt like a shorter setlist, until I remembered how long a single song is. Blake's octaver pedal and his three different distortion pedals give a really full, powerful tone to his guitar (especially the TurboRAT pedal) that you wouldn't always expect from a two-piece group. I also don't mention drummer Nick Gore's vocals enough: they're quite powerful, and really what blew me away the first time I saw them. When he's at full power, it's a quite impressive thing to behold. Watch all 32 minutes of their set here, including their fucked-up-in-a-good-way cover of Black Flag's "My War":

Band number 3 of the night was Black Table from the border of New York and New Jersey. I scratched my head at the name too until I saw these guys perform. Holy shit, they are awesome, and a delight to hang out with, to boot! I had a wonderful conversation with vocalist and guitarist Mers (pronounced like "nurse") Sumida about human evolutionary divergence, quantum physics, favorite pyschedelic experiences, and Hawaiian ladyboys. Quite a treat. As far as their music goes, Black Table is a smorgasboard of heaviness. They take cues from post-metal ("ambient sludge" for genre purists) and black metal, as well as sludge metal and hardcore. They even throw in a death metal-style chug or two. Guitar duty is split between Mers and Ryan Fleming; one usually shreds while the other plays in a more legato style. Drummer Mike Kadnar is a beast, and has the handlebar 'stache to prove it. I didn't get a chance to talk much to bassist Matt Mellon, but this doesn't diminish his playing one bit: this guy is fantastic, and his 6-string bass adds a really interesting, almost Intronaut-esque quality to the sound. The overall sound itself is surprisingly deep and intricate. These guys keep you interested throughout, adding nuances here and there and switching things up before you can even think of getting bored. Some parts reminded me of Isis, others, the indomitable Deathspell omega. I kept wondering what profoundly awesome shit they would play next, and they never failed to deliver. Check out concert footage below.

In addition, without a doubt one of the coolest things these guys have is their "Deepwell" package. It's a CD that contains a 22-minute ambient track, but with what's essentially a séance kit included. I'm not going to say all what's inside, but it's definitely worth tracking down and getting your own copy. I tried the ritual myself and found it to be pretty wild. To tide you over until you find your own copy, check out their brand-spanking new EP "Sentinel." It's absolutely, positively worth the price of $Name-your-price, only so cheap for a limited time. Stream it right here:

Last up was Nashville hardcore staple Dawn. This group features Ivan Doerschuk and Jordan House of Sky Burial and Alraune (among others) on drums and bass, respectively, and Jesse Mowery of Altar of Complaints and Nut Collector (among others). They kicked ass when I saw them at the Owl Farm, and they kicked just as much ass on this night too. Combining elements of hardcore, mathcore, sludge, powerviolence, d-beat, grindcore, and maybe even a whiff of black metal, this trio rains down an onslaught of intense music. The screams are strong and visceral, but also somewhat enticing. The drums were really punchy and tight. The use of feedback fits the style perfectly. Overall, these guys have a really restless style, with a sense of urgency felt throughout. This music gets your blood pumping. Since Jesse Mowery was manning the video camera during the show (credit goes to him for all the videos posted here), I don't have any footage from their set (sorry), so here's a stream from their last release.

1 comment:

  1. hahaah " I had a wonderful conversation with vocalist and guitarist Mers (pronounced like "nurse") Sumida about human evolutionary divergence, quantum physics, favorite pyschedelic experiences, and Hawaiian ladyboys." that pretty much is me in a nutshell! great meeting you Court! - mers