ALBUM REVIEW: GRIZZLOR – COOLNESS FACTOR 6

Here we have the latest from these Connecticut-based noise-makers. It’s a concept album of sorts that’s a quick, noisy listen – spreading 4 cuts across about 9 minutes or so of furious punk rock. Starting with an escape from this crumby, uncool planet Earth in search of a cooler place to live, and of course ending inevitably in a nuclear war with aliens because that’s what humans do, Grizzlor spans the rock cosmos and winds up dead in space. Sweet! If there’s one negative thing to say, it’s that the album comes across a bit one-dimensional as it largely the same ideas over and over, but it’s fast and loose and fun, so big whoop, right?

The album sounds like a smear of sound, the guitars and bass largely covering the same distorted frequencies while crisp drums cut through with ease. The bass is tight and dirty, while the guitar takes on the high-octane approach of some the wilder bits of Man…or Astroman? The distorted vocals add to the cacophony. All of that sounds like a diss, but it’s not. It works! It’s an ugly splash of raw, punk rock and roll with a hint of surf rock. Neat!

This is a quick listen, easily worth your time. The record is wildly different from their excellent DESTRUCTOID LP that came out a few years back and I love bands that mix it up like this. Check it out! – Jason

The Take Off – Hot dog, the album starts with a nasty dose of heaviness that immediately gets me in the mood to rock. The jagged rhythm of this track kicks some butt for sure, and I can’t stop banging my head. I’ve got an ugly sneer creeping across my lip and I’m stomping along in delight. There’s even a guitar “solo” through the middle. Right on! Thumbs up.

Warp Speed – This track has another awesome, lurching groove to it and I love the lyrical rhythm throughout. This is nasty! The seeming surf-rock influence sneaks through a little bit more on this than the opener, and it’s a ripper. I love the slamming riff that concludes this part of the adventure. Thumbs way up!

Extraterrestrial Space Fight – Hell yeah! After the sounds of space combat (lasers!), Grizzlor explodes into a lightning-fast jaunt of total rock and roll destruction! Ooof! The humans discover that the inhabitants of the Coolness Factor Galaxy don’t want us uncool humans junking up their space. The gnarly, relentless bass drives this song hard. Rocker. This is the longest cut on the album (under three minutes) and I love the dynamic shift of the mid-section that lets the song achieve maximum rock and roll. Thumbs up!

Space Nuke – The drums continue the up-tempo battering while the guitars and bass blast through one-distorted phrase after another. It doesn’t look good for the indigenous people, nor for the humans. Sounds about right. The vocals on this one kinda rub me the wrong way as they sorta fight the rhythm of the track at times. It’s alright. This track does have an excellent hook to it, however. Space-surf or die on the pressure wave caused by the detonation of the human space nuke.

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ALBUM REVIEW: TRIGGER CUT – BUSTER

Trigger Cut is a German trio risen from the ashes of Buzz Rodeo. I found them simultaneously via scrolling through Bandcamp listings and postings from their enthusiastic guitar player on the Facebook Group Noise Rock Now. This is their most recent release. If I didn’t read the bio, I’d never know this was a product of fine German engineering. It’s got a certain “American” familiarity to it, and the vocals rarely betray any hint of an accent.

The album has an excellent mix that is neither too heavy or too bright, but rather somewhere perfectly between. The guitar has an excellent top-end grit to it and wisely leaves the low-end to the bass and kick drum. It’s an edgy sound, but not brittle or shrill. I think it’s pretty rad, with nicely articulate chords and runs alike, surprisingly having more in common tonally with a surf-rock band than the more metallic crunch of bands like Helmet or the fuzz overload of bands like Whores. The aforementioned bass isn’t too bottom heavy either, but it’s got enough to solidify the tunes. It’s a mid-heavy approach that lets each and every note shine through with ease instead of getting lost in the low-frequency mire that I also equally adore. The drums sound great with plenty of attack and body, and thanks to the mix of the guitars and bass, each hit rings loud and true. In keeping with the theme, the vocals sit in a good spot, neither too buried or prevalent, a tuneful shouting that works well, sometimes breaking up into a raw scream.

Trigger Cut delivers a nice blast of energy and tension on this record, and I’d recommend it to folks into stuff like The Jesus Lizard and Shellac, but it could also appeal to folks into stuff like At The Drive In or Quicksand thanks to the anxiety inherent in the song structures and some of the vocal hooks. Check it out! – Jason

Hellcat Bob – The record opens with feedback and rumbling drums before a bass groove sets in. The guitars eventually pile on, as do the vocals, and the quiet-loud dynamic is put to task as the verses ease up between the more raucous blasts of the chorus. I love the big hook that comes in a little after the two-minute mark (reprised at the end)! The double-time ending is also sweet and ends the track on an urgent note. Cool.

Blind – I love the bass/guitar call and response that opens this track! The chimey ring of the guitars imparts a bit of Duane Dennison on this track and that’s alright with me! I’m nodding along and stomping my foot as the band lurches onward. The chorus blooms nicely and I’m loving these bass slides in the staccato bits. The rambling vocal also brings an urgency and honesty to the tune that I’m really digging. Thumbs way up!

Transfer – This song opens with something that reminds me of a band like Since By Man before slogging back into an uglier, more jagged verse. I’m still banging my head and I’ve got a bit of case of stink-face. The post-chorus guitar bit is a bit of post-rock beauty in a pile up of ugly noise. The vocal trailing off after the band stops at the end is a neat detail that gives the track a raw, basement authenticity. Dig it! Thumbs up!

King Of Inks – The Big Dumb Groove® bounce of the verse catches me off guard on this track, and I love how it’s offset with the more expected dissonance of the genre. This is another fine head-bobber of a tune. It’s catchy and it rocks. It’s a little more “accessible” than the preceeding tracks, but that’s alright Good stuff.

Free Hugs – Heck yeah! This one is a rocker. The guitar takes on a meatier presence at times, and the insistent battering of the snare during those same passages makes this the “heaviest” track on the album thus far. Dig it!

Pony Pony – The opening drum beat brings to mind John Stanier in my mind, and I love the little stick-on-stick percussive details in this “quiet” intro. The singer’s annunciation of the word “pony” throughout is another rare hint that these people didn’t grow up in a suburb of Chicago, and I like it. Otherwise, it’s more of the same and yep, I’m still bobbing along to the endless grooves… Cool.

The Miners Are Back – The pounding groove of this track has me once again thinking of some post-hardcore bands that I listened to in the late 90s and early aughts. This track is alright. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s not as strong as the rest of the record. I do like the more urgent moments of the tune. The ending is actually pretty rad, reminding me of Refused a bit. So yeah, it’s ok.

Mute Driver – The quiet-loud build through what comes to be the verse is solid and the song keeps chugging along from there. The part has a “sea-sick” sort of flow it, ebbing back and forth between the more battering chorus. I dig it. It’s a cool song.

I Know She Knows – I love the hypnotic churning of this track from the rip with the bass immediately setting the stage and the guitar squawking in accent. The start-stop aspects of this song give it a nice splash of uneasiness, as does the warbling vocal. The double-timing near the end is always gonna get me excited so… yeah.. Thumbs way up!

Westworld – The album closer opens with a start-stop sort of bass lick that inspires erratic head-bobbing of the highest order, accompanied by string noise and sustained chords blooming into feedback. This song winds up having a bit of a slow-burning vibe to it, that unleashes nicely – especially in the latter half of the song. Rock!

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EARTHQUAKER DAY 2019

Big news, friends!

We are pleased to announce that we’re a sponsor of EarthQuaker Day 2019! That’s so weird, right?! Yeah, it is! We’re weird! So are you!

First things first, what is EarthQuaker Day? That’s a great question, with an equally great answer courtesy of the fine copywriters over at EarthQuaker Devices in Akron, OH. EarthQuaker Day is two parts music festival, three parts customer appreciation day, one-part effect pedal factory open house, one-part guitar show, one-part art installation, and one-part street fair; with a pinch of carnival fun & games, and a side of bazaar – a collection of like-minded, enthusiastic, and talented individuals coming together for one day on August 3, 2019 in celebration of the quirkiness, innovation, and “anything goes” attitude that makes Akron, Ohio the-heart-of-it-all in The Heart Of It All – a wonderful place to live and work. All of this is going down beginning at 11AM at 350 W. Bowery St. Akron, OH!

The day will open with a pedal clinic courtesy of EQD founder Jamie Stillman (Relaxer, Party of Helicopters, Teeth of the Hydra, etc.). Clinics continue every half hour from there, up until 1PM, where the live music kicks off with a series of performances (sets starting every 45 minutes or so) from the likes of I Can’t Go For That (Hall & Oates Tribute), Tom Breaker and the Pettyhearts, Coupe De Grace, Night In, and Green Tree Novelty Tea. 5PM will see the PRS Guitars Riff Contest Finals and a new Riff Champion™ will be crowned. Later, at Musica; Niights, Caveman, and The Party Of Helicopters will be playing for F-R-E-E! Dang! That’s a stacked day! Beyond all of the above, there are sponsor/vendor tables setup to explore, and raffles, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised if the popular “free pedal doodle” booth is banging again, so bring your EQD pedals (or buy some there!) and have a doodle done inside the casing! Neat! In addition to all of that, EQD will also be officially releasing their latest pedal, the PLUMES! This pedal takes the classic Tube Screamer design and throws it headfirst into the twenty-first century, at an aggressive price point to get more EQD pedals out there on more folks’ boards. Bad ass!

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So, where do we fit in? Over the past 3.5 years, we’ve been enthusiastically seeking out new music from near and far, promoting bands we feel deserve your time and attention by reviewing releases, live shows, and even interviewing some folks that help make some of the noise that makes modern-life worth living. Sure, we’re technically a band, but we’re also an outlet for spreading the love of rock and roll, as well as a freelance flyer designer! In that spirit, we’re lining up lots of freebies and giveaways from many of the bands we’ve featured on this blog since 2016! That’s right, come get stickers, art prints, physical copies of some releases (I’m working on this!), etc. and decorate your life! We’re also shooting to have some new shirts and stuff for ya! Come say hey and talk to us about rock and roll while also helping celebrate this most excellent, Ohio-born business!

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ALBUM REVIEW: SEXYPIGDIVAS – XPLODIE NOTE

Full disclosure, I’m Facespace friends with Katie and Nick – the core members of SexyPigDivas and we’ve shared a stage with them in the past. This is their latest album, and it features another friend on bass – Mr Bill Govan (goosed, The Ravenna Arsenal, etc.). Tony Liotta (Modem) played the drums on these songs – and yeah, he knocked it out of the park too. I’ve been waiting for this for what seems a year and a half after seeing this line-up shred the stage at the 2018 Council Of Beards at the Outpost.

The album sounds great, with a lush hi-fidelity sound driven primarily by the keys and guitar. The bass and drums build a solid foundation, but this is clearly all about the melodies. The keys provide a ton of the aforementioned melody, but they also dish out some textures as well, and tonally shift between the sounds of a digital piano to more synthesized tones. The same can be said for the guitar parts, which make excellent use of effects throughout, including cool “sample-and-hold” kind of freak-outs, buckets of delay, and aggressive overdrive. The bass doesn’t get to shine much in the mix, but Bill’s playing is tight and serves the songs perfectly (no surprise, there!). The drums are tight and crisp. There’s isn’t any thump, but plenty of snap and I’m not left searching for anything (other than maybe a touch more body on the kick). Much of the album is instrumental, but the vocals that are pleasant and alluring, drawing you into the tune with a trippy, psychedelic ease to them.

This is a quick listen full of neat ideas. There’s a number of excellent songs on here, but also some grade A soundscapes. Being selfish, I would have liked to have had more to chew on, because some of these pieces are over far too soon! Be sure to check it out, and don’t miss seeing them live. It’s usually just Katie and Nick playing as a two-piece (and switching back and forth between drums, guitars, and keys) – Jason

58008 Hz – The record opens with what sounds like a Recovery Effects Cutting Room Floor (or Bad Comrade?) effect on the guitar. It’s neat! It doesn’t take long for the urgent beat to set in and I’m in head-bob city, once again. This is a fun, instrumental dance number, that would have been right at home alongside some of that excellent garage disco The Rapture was churning out back in the early 2000s. I dig this stuff. Get down!

Breaths – After the exciting intro track, the band eases up with this moody interlude. It’s a rainy-day sorta song (literally), with the sound of rain falling behind a somber bit of key work. It does a great job of setting a mood and in the end it serves as an intro to the following track.

Tofu Tuna – Springing out of the dreary sound of rainfall that was Breaths, this song sets in with a dreamy, poppy sound that’s catchy and fun. Katie’s vocal is smooth as silk and rides an even keel. It’s groovy and I’m nodding along. The lyric “dreaming leads to nothing in return, but that’s ok” hits too close to home. More of this please!

Noir Dance Party – Indeed, this is certainly a dance party thanks to the insistent drums! The Noir part is true as well, thanks to the dark vibe the primary chord progressions suggests. The post-rock inspired swells in sound from both synth and guitar (at alternating times) are neat details and I’m into it! This is the hardest rocking cut on the album as a result. At just under two-minutes long, it would make a great theme-tune to some sort of action show. The quiet bridge with shrieking guitar accents that leads into the half-time reprise of the main theme is killer. Thumbs up!

Perpetual Waiting Room – Here we have another spooky sounding interlude. It’s criminally short, setting a great ominous vibe that could easily float an extended scene in a film or tv show. I could see this in an episode of Black Mirror, for example. Again, it winds up serving as an intro to the following song.

Clouds Of Ice – The vocals are back for the longest cut on the album. It’s got an almost Chris Isaak sort of smokiness to the music, which I think is my way of interpreting the sometimes “countryness” of the guitar bits through the first part of the song. The song makes a neat shift a little past the half-way mark and I love the vocal that accompanies it! Govan’s bass lines are groovy and paired with the snappy drumming, gives the song an excellent pulse. The song is primarily a sugary bit of poppy drone, but there’s also a killer winding riff that they use to accent it, and it’s rad. Thumbs up.

Come Like A Phoenix – Sci-Fi sounding synths and a head bobbing rock and roll riff gets this one going and it reminds me of a favorite band, Black Mountain! A minute-in and it drops into an excellent little boogie! Heck yeah! I’m dancing in my seat and my head is bobbing along in delight. Thumbs way up on this rocker!

Into The Explosion, Charging Into The Depths – The sound of running water returns, along with another ominous piano/synth/and guitar droning soundscape that proves these two could have a real future in film scores. Dang.

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ALBUM REVIEW: GHOST:HELLO – THE SOUND OF COLOR IN SPACE

Full disclosure, I’m Facespace pals with bassist/vocalist William Jennings of Ghost:Hello (formerly of Asphyxian, with whom we once shared a bill under our prior moniker of The Gingerdead Men). Ghost:Hello is his latest project after somewhat “retiring” from “bands” a few years back. I always thought he had a knack for pursuing unique sounds and concepts throughout the numerous incarnations of Asphyxian and that continues here with Ghost:Hello. The band takes on the interesting timbre of drum+bass+synth with the occasional vocal and samples. It’s a unique approach in a scene dominated by guitar worship. The band also features the drummer of another popular Ohio export, Simian Soul Charger. I’m not sure if the synth player, Nina Skok, played in any other bands before this. This is the band’s debut LP after releasing a double single earlier this year (that you should totally check out, by the way) on Bandcamp.

Ever the staunch-DIYer, The Sound Of Color In Space was recorded by Jennings and it sounds great. The drums have a brightness to them that really gives it a great, “live in your room” feel. They’ve got a ton of attack, but not a lot of body, so don’t expect the drums to thump along and you’ll be alright. Everything is crystal clear, so quit yer gripin’! Jennings bass sounds pretty righteous behind it’s simple signal path of bass > Big Muff > amplifier > speaker > microphone. At times it sounds like it’s doubled, but that could just be a trick in the way it’s mixed. The synth parts sound pretty cool and give the songs character. The samples are what they are… there’s some slicing and dicing and stuttering at times that is kinda neat. The vocals cover a lot of ground, when present, ranging from falsetto weirdness to bizarro crooning, screaming to vocoded oddity. Again, I like how original they sound within the “stoner metal” genre.

The Sound of Color in Space is coming out this fall, and you’d do well to check it out when it hits the streets. Also, be sure to check the band out as they begin hitting the regional club circuit this summer. – Jason

Alcubierre Metric – The album opens with a brooding electronic intro courtesy of a synthesizer playing a looping “circus-like” melody. It’s got a Wendy Carlos vibe to it, easily recalling a dreary dystopian skyline or a spinning, abandoned space station. It’s short and sweet, fading into the opening cut that takes an abrupt turn.

Fingerstache – After the electronic tease of the intro, I was shocked when the band suddenly rips into a Fu Manchu style boogie featuring just the bass and drums. Where’d the synth go?! It’s a fun head-bobber of a tune! You know what, this bass riff kinda reminds me of Bridesmaid! Sweet. Two minutes in, they hit on a brief neck wrecker before venturing into an extraterrestrial jazz club (here comes that synth!). Thumbs up!

Perfect – Here we go, we’re a couple tracks in and the band is really starting to accentuate who they want to be with the synth joining in on a counter-melody to the bouncing bass riff that makes up the verse. Jennings’ vocal makes its debut with a falsetto that suits the throbbing QOTSA style groove excellently. I love the “ahhhh ah” backing vocals that follow the brief verses. I’m nodding along with ease. Fun song! “I’m perfect in all ways, always” is a nicely tongue-in-cheek sort of lyric. The “reprise the riff, but slower” ending is cool. Thumbs up.

The Mouth Of The Gift Horse – Geez, I wasn’t expecting the shrieking screaming vocals that open this track! The tempo is up and so is the urgency in the riff and rhythms. I’ve got a bit of stink face going on here, man. At just over two-minutes long, this track is pretty direct and to-the point aside from the brief spacey-excursion through the bridge. It’s a ripper. Thumbs way up.

Bardo State – This track features a pulsing synth riff over a steady drum beat, all accompanying a smothering of sampled dialogue. It’s alright. At five minutes long, it might be a bit much for me. The band does try to keep it interesting by dropping the drums out and filtering the synth burble, but overall, I’m not loving it.

Nemesis – This song is a brooding number that focuses more on Jennings sideshow crooning than weirdo riffs or bombastic glory. Of all the tracks on here, this one seems the most like an Asphyxian track to me and lacks the strangeness of Ghost:Hello that I feel the rest of the tracks possess. It’s alright. There’s nothing wrong with the song, but also nothing I’m totally loving.

Burnout – All right! This track was previously released to the interwebs earlier in 2019 and introduces the vocoder on the vocal, a neat effect when accompanying the meaty, head-banger riff that forms the basis of the tune. It gives the song an Add N To X sort of vibe, especially true considering the swelling waveforms crashing throughout the song, courtesy of the synthesizer. A minute from the end, the band slips into an uptempo riff that’s fun and *gasp* a guitar lead shows up! Good stuff! Bang your head!

Spit Of Stars – I like the urgent, nervous beat that opens this track before the bass and synth pile in. The dance beat makes this another fun song to jam along to. It’s oddly reminding me of the Rapture meeting Big Business. The “snake oil salesman” vocal is an excellent fit, and I’m digging this tune. The slowed down groove of the bridge is a nice touch, along with the well-placed foreign language sampled dialogue that accompanies it. Thumbs up, it’s a rocker!

Poison Swan – The album closer emerges from the fading din of Spit Of Stars and builds nicely with reverb soaked synth (or perhaps it’s a multi-tracked bass melody?) and a jazzy drum rhythm. It swells to a head a bit past the two minute mark. It’s a rainy sounding groove that makes me think of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner for some reason. The ending of the song seems to devolve into a wash of noise and conflict, pulling apart like a poorly constructed re-entry vehicle before congealing on the main groove to wrap it up nicely.

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ALBUM REVIEW: INTERCOURSE – BUM WINE

Long time readers of this blog know that I’m pretty keen on this band! They’ve put out a bunch of chaotic, violent releases over the last few years, all narrated by the mad ramblings of front-man Tarek Ahmed. I was excited to see that they just released a new EP that delivers 4 songs over almost nine minutes. This time around, however, the band is really reveling in the noise-rock aspect of their sound, focusing on nastier grooves than violent, instrument sacrifice. They’ve always teased these ideas, so it’s no surprise, and the bottom line is that it completely rocks! The Kiss It Goodbye / Deadguy vibe is still present and I’m still all aboard!

The songs sound excellent with a gnarly bass tone keeping everything slogging forward along with the full-bodied sound of the drums (plenty of attack and thump!). The high gain guitar riffing sounds excellent with staccato stabs and burly chords alike, punctuated with shrieks of feedback. Ahmed’s vocals are distorted and more buried in the mix this time around, and boy do they sound fierce! His lyrics once again possess a subtle comedic undertone to the tragic tales he tells, but the tragedy is definitely the star on these songs. Good stuff!

This is a short record, but it’s a total bruiser! You need to get on this! -Jason

Jakes’s Backyard – The record opens with the sound of a kid wretching. It’s pretty gross and off-putting, so it’s an obviously excellent choice to open an Intercourse record. There’s no music in this track, just sloppy puke slapping the ground. Wet, wet barf, pouring out. I can almost smell it. Oh geez… I’m not feeling so great.

Bum Wine – Ooof! Guitar feedback and cymbal wash finally get the music going as this track opens. This track lumbers forward with a down-tempo aggression that instantly recalls the almighty Kiss It Goodbye. I’m banging my head and I’ve got a bad case of stink face as the band rides this song’s “one riff” into the ground in a glorious fashion. Thumbs way up.

With An Asshole Like An Ashtray – This track is ugly and chaotic, with a great bounce to it that’s got me sneering in contempt and banging my head. The dissonant squawking guitar accents are pretty rad, and Ahmed’s vocal is intense! Rocker!

Brad The Bag Boy – The tempo comes up on this ripper, and the band dishes out some more traditional sounding hardcore elements that give it a monstrous amount of energy and swagger. The lyrics tell the tale of a guy that works zipping corpses into body bags and it’s pretty sweet. This track is a banger for sure. Heavy, mean… this rules. Near the end they lean into a killer riff that I imagine always results in a pretty wild pit at live shows. Thumbs way up.

Sundowning – The band ends the EP with an epic three-and-a-half minute bruiser that has a phrase in one of the riffs that is actually reminding me of a DeathCrawl riff from our first album! Wild! It’s super heavy, super pissed, and pretty bad ass. Bang your head, pump your first, light yourself on fire. Rad.

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ROCK AND ROLL POST MORTEM: 05/25/2019

Last Saturday, we were invited to return to Buzzbin for the third and final day of Rabid Fest. There were some great bands playing on both Thursday and Friday night, but I have to admit that I was most excited by Saturday’s line-up! We were once again tortured with rain, and the outdoor stage was mostly shut down as a result, despite a sizable investment to get plenty of clean, tasty power run to the patio stage in recent weeks. More on that later…

In typical super-dad™ fashion, we couldn’t get down to Canton until about 6:30, so we missed a bunch of bands that probably melted faces (Close The Hatch, The Negative One). I’m not sure who all we missed, as there were some bands added and some bands that dropped from what was initially advertised. I know that Dump Cake hopped on (and we missed them), while Sog City and Nine Layers Deep cancelled. There could have been more, I suppose. That’s rock and roll.

Upon our arrival, we were informed that we could load in straight away to the area that formally housed the original Buzzbin stage, so many years ago. It’s been an Arcade for a while now, so we were pretty pumped to squeeze our pile of amps in between all the flashing lights of pinball machines and driving games – not to mention the pool table that was ratchet strapped on it’s side to the wall! We were shocked to learn that only us and Divorce Horse would get to play in the arcade, so it felt special. Turns out, it was only us, more on that later.

As we loaded in, Canton’s local faves The Said So reunited on the main stage after several years of hiatus. They had a good crowd watching them tear into their brand of up-tempo rock and roll. They sounded great! They did a cover of Cherry-Bomb, which is kind of weird to hear sung by a dude, but whatever, they nailed it! Good stuff.

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Lansing, Michigan’s Wormfoot took to the stage next. I didn’t realize it, but this band is fronted by one of the dudes from The Goddamn Gallows. Wormfoot is much uglier, nastier, and scarier sounding, however! A three-piece, they delivered a mountainous slab of sludge and filth with just vocals, guitar, and drums. Heavy. Intense. They ripped off all the scabs and suckled at the bloody wound of existence. Brutal.

 

By now the radar was showing no signs of rain and we were asked if we wanted to relocate all of our crap to the patio stage. Many of our smart-phone weather apps still threatened precipitation, so we declined and forged ahead with the original plan. Divorce Horse opted to play outside, leaving the arcade all to us! Woah! We felt super special now, being the only band playing in the arcade.

Lashes from Cincinnati was up next on the main stage, pummeling with a shredding drummer and intense vocals. Unfortunately, the singer’s bass tone was so bottom heavy, it was essentially just a drone instrument, with no discernible riffs to latch onto. She was a wailing vocalist, however! I’d like to hear them again, with some top end or mids on that bass to allow the riffs to breathe. They kind of had a Made Out Of Babies bit of promise to them, which was rad.

 

As best as I can recall, we were up next. The PA was reserved only for vocals, but that old Buzzbin room is so rich, it sounded incredible. I love when the soundman tells me to turn up the SVT! We jumped right in and rocked our brains out! At one point, one of the ladies from Dump Cake fell or was pushed (there was a bit of mosh pit happening) and she landed on Kyle’s pedal board. Nate didn’t see her fall behind him and he brutally curb stomped her in error! He was mortified! Sorry!!! It all happened so fast, and she was back on her feet and seemingly ok. Whew! The crowd was smallish, but the room was smaller, so it felt nice and cozy! We jammed the following tunes: Trouble’s Afoot At The Circle K, “Gold Record”, Souvenir, Cadaver Dogs At Dawn, Black Galaxy, Colliderscope, “Dr. Drone”, and Fast Times. Gold Record is still pretty new and in flux, but it mostly worked. I’m sure we’ll tweak it a bit more before we call it “done.” I actually bothered to do my backing vocals for this set and that was fun. It was fast and loose and heavy and glorious for us. The crowd seemed to like it as well! I wandered out during Cadaver Dogs to mingle with the audience, and Kyle took to the seat of the Tokyo Drift arcade game during Fast Times. People don’t seem to know what to do when the band is playing amongst them! Fun was had. We sold some shirts.

 

We were told Flesh Mother was up next, but it was actually Dead Hour Noise‘s turn on the main stage, while the PA was carted back out to the patio for Flesh Mother and Divorce Horse’s benefit. We were so busy tearing down and putting away our crap, that I couldn’t pay a ton of attention to DHN. They were plenty heavy, for sure, and seemed to play a much slower and less overwhelming set than I was teased to expect earlier. By no means, a complaint, as they dished out the goods for sure, wrecking necks with ease.

 

Flesh Mother hit the patio stage soon after and I had to listen from afar as we continued to deal with the aftermath of our performance (an interview with Project Concert 150, of course!). They sounded nasty! Heavy and evil are just the first two words that come to mind, as the band possessed that same nihilistic streak that powers sludge pioneers EyeHateGod. I heard they were pretty intense to watch, and I’m sorry I missed it! Aww Nuts!

I thought Caustic Casanova was going to play next on the main stage, but Divorce Horse actually wound up playing on the patio stage. This was the first time I was able to see this band, and they did a great job. They definitely sound heavier live than on record, playing an energized set that reminded me of bands like At The Drive In or Quicksand. Good stuff! The pop-punk influences that are more apparent on their recent debut LP “Death Mountain” were less pronounced in the dark, electrically charged post-storm outdoor air, and the guys appeared to be having a great time kicking out their jams. Check them out, for sure!

 

Washington DC’s Caustic Casanova was up next and I was pretty excited to finally see them as well. They’ll be back in NEO this fall as part of the Blackout Cookout at Westside Bowl in Youngstown, so this was an orientation for me. The diverse sound present on their recordings was faithfully reproduced live, with the band covering the gamut from smokey Sabbathian phrases to proggy, guitar harmony-laden tangents, straight up rock and roll romps, and all in between. They certainly impressed! Hot dang! Check them out at BOCO, for sure!

 

Finally, Night Goat took to the stage and ripped through their set of riff-centric bangers. They sounded great. Heavy, edgy, abrasive – it was cool as hell, as expected. I’m still waiting on that LP they recorded over the winter… I wonder when it’s coming out? I love when they do the dual vocals, it sounds so huge!

 

So, there you have it! Another gig in the books for your friendly neighborhood supercorrupter. We’ll see you all back in Canton for Ohio Doomed & Stoned on July 26th. It’ll be both Keith and Kyle’s birthdays, so be sure to bring them tributes. See ya!