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SXSW Friday Reviews

Got out late again today so started at Lovejoy’s at 5pm due to Scoot Inn being too full with Green and Wood and Pentagram playing free. Hoped to see Eagle Twin at ND, but missed that too. Shit.

Lovejoy’s Free Show
I was told Cough was good, and I’ll catch their showcase at Scoot Inn on Saturday.

Gaza
Nothing is heavy after seeing YOB and these guys are proof. Not only that, they’re pretty much bringing 90’s metallified hardcore to the table, and if you’re not breaking new ground in this kind of genre what are you playing for? 90’s hardcore already happened, guys, and it mostly sucked then (with notable exceptions) – please leave it dead and buried. It only got worse with the singer proselytizing about the state of the world between songs. I can read, dude, keep your opinions to yourself. That said, the crowd seemed mostly into it – not that people have taste.

Wormrot
Pile-driving and taut pounding hardcore from Singapore. Kind of fun and interesting, but this show is turning into a typical hardcore show from 1992 – it bored me then and it bores me now. A friend said it best, “that was kind of fun, but I’d never listen to the record if I had it”. Tells you all you need to know.

Ringworm
I thought I’d heard of these guys and, sure enough, they’re a hardcore band from Cleveland that started in 1991. They’re on Victory records, need I say more? Decent to listen to, not awful, just, again, 90’s hardcore shit. To be fair, some of the thrashier elements are decent and interesting, but beyond that it’s not worth my time. The crowd full of fat, tattooed hardcore hippity-hoppity meatheads reliving their childhoods was pathetic and hilarious. Their silly “hardcore” disco dancing only made it worse. Most of these fuckers were pushing maximum density and making it hard to breathe from the laughing…and lack of oxygen. They’ll be gone in a few days, thankfully.

Heading to the showcase at Dirty Dog (a shitty, shitty frat bar) tonight. Highlights include Red Fang, Weedeater, and Saint Vitus. I hate Kylesa and Witchburn sound cheesy so we’ll see what transpires. Stay tuned!

Dirty Dog Showcase

Red Fang
Dirty, driving, heavy rock ‘n roll. Pretty fun stuff that’s easy to listen to, Red Fang are good musicians that write quality tunes. Strangely, this kind of music isn’t as prevalent as you would think or hope. Red Fang are carrying the rock torch – worth getting the record, for sure.

Weedeater
Drugs and destruction. They’re fucking great. Weird that they played almost all old tunes when the new LP came out two days ago, but it was fun if you’ve been a fan for a while. Great dudes, great shit.

Kylesa
On now. They’re incredibly fucking contrived. And everybody loves them – never trust that. It’s like emo-metal. Awful, as usual … Kylesa’s set almost over, they’re an overamped emo band. How can you not see this? Wake it the fuck up.

Crowbar
They’re tolerable. That’s it.

Helmet
If you like this band I have a gas chamber in my basement. All you need to know about the world is that everybody left after they played and before Saint Vitus. Saint Vitus! This world is inexorably fucked. Ugh.

Saint Vitus
Once-in-a-lifetime, they were amazing. Sounds like they may be recording a new record too!

On to Saturday! Great show at Lovejoy’s during the day then on to Scoot Inn for Cough, NAAM, EYEHATEGOD, and Pentagram.

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SXSW Thursday Reviews

Thrasher Day Party @ Scoot Inn

Weedeater
Runaway dogs, traffic, and flat tires will conspire to keep you from a Robitussin-induced trance, but nothing was keeping me from catching some of Weedeater. Even though I only got the last few songs, they rocked, as always. Got the new record on vinyl too, no mean feat for skimpy (and stupid) Southern Lord vinyl releases. I’ll be attending their showcase. Can’t wait.

Full Metal Texas Party @ Emo’s

YOB
“Four songs in forty minutes”? Fuck yes. Is YOB the heaviest band ever? Possibly. When I first heard them I summarily dismissed the records – boy, was I apocalyptically wrong. Organic and sinister, YOB is the new, yet surprisingly familiar soundtrack to the slow-motion apocalypse. Like armies of the damned undead rising from the earth. SALO666 put it best: “Tectonic plates shifting”. The most percussive guitar this side of Greg Ginn, and an atomic bomb-like rhythm section. Fuckin’ A. They’re playing one more show at Barbarella tonight at 1am and that’s it. Don’t miss them, they haven’t been here in five years and don’t often tour.

Free Show/Party @ 777 Shady Ln.
I live blocks from here, metal in the hood! Free beer and food. Go to this shit – starts at 8pm.

Showcase @ Barbarella
Witch Mountain
Just caught the very end of their set. Sounded good. Heavier NWOBHM with dueling female/male vocals. Buying the record – we’ll see.

Agalloch
I was expecting big things, but these guys just didn’t deliver. Part of the problem was the sound at Barbarella which was mediocre at best. That said, Agalloch simply had no punch, no low end, and attempt an amateurish brand of black metal infused metal-rock that really goes nowhere and breaks no ground.

YOB
Waiting for them to go on. Expecting another unreal set, but the sound sucks here and they’re playing outside so who knows. Get a YOB, motherfucker! … When’s the last time you grinned through a set like you were tripping on some heavy psychedelics? Been since Femi Kuti in 2001 for me. YOB is going to be hard to beat for THE shows of SXSW. Saint Vitus, EYEHATEGOD, Weedeater, HULL? We’ll see.

See you at the ND, Scoot Inn, and Lovejoy’s during the day on Friday, then the Dirty Dog at night. Smile and say you love Satan!