Sunn O))), Earth, Weedeater, Wolves In the Throne Room
July 7
El Corazon
Better than:
Being beaten up by rabid Black Sabbath fans.

When it


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Southern Lord Showcase, El Corazon, Saturday

Like resurrected the fallen metal gods, Southern Lord brings the fury of hell.

Sunn O))), Earth, Weedeater, Wolves In the Throne Room
July 7
El Corazon
Better than:
Being beaten up by rabid Black Sabbath fans.

When it happened, i didn't realize why. Now I know. I went back to blue jeans just to be different than all these fuckers in black. Yes, I still wear black; it's still my color of choice. Today, though, it's just too goddamn hot.

I'm two hours early for a show I know I won't get to stay for, unless I want to spend the wee hours roaming downtown again. I'm lucky to be here, as I tell a mohawked guy while we wait outside El Corazon to learn tonight's photo policy (house rules: no video, no pro-style cameras). Yes, I'm on the list, but no go on the photo. Maybe I should carry a back-up point-and-shoot for these moments. I won't be here for headliner Sunn O))), anyway. I'll miss most of Earth, too, especially if things run late. No offense to the venue, but it's batting 1.000 for being late at shows I've attended.

 

Fifteen minutes to show time and the crowd is much larger than the first show I caught here but nowhere close to attendance for the second. First act Wolves In the Throne Room are doing one last sound check before getting things started. They are from Olympia, which makes them practically local.The check doesn't take long and it turns out they are starting a good ten minutes before the scheduled 9 p.m. start. Things are looking good.

Fucking hell. The three-piece band plays loud speed metal of the sort where you can't understand a damn thing being sung but it doesn't matter. The singer/guitarist sports the Dimebag Darrell look and a similar-styled guitar. Does Olympia know these guys live there? This is the kind of band my grandma is afraid I've been listening to all these years. She should be scared. If she heard this, she'd have a heart attack.

The drummer beats his set like a puppy-killing retard, getting off on the destruction simply because he doesn't know any better. The third member, a blond, plays a more traditional guitar in opposition to his dark-haired bandmate's. He seems more laid back, like he should be a bassist, like he's just going with the flow.

The flow starts slow, droning, before the thrash begins. You know it's going to happen, just not when. I wouldn't mind listening to more of the drone, but they do the thrash so well it would be a shame for them to stop. The scream-singing makes my throat hurt and I haven't said shit since i walked through the door.  At 9:04, WITTR are on their third song. I wonder how long they'll go on. Weedeater is next and I want to see them, too. All four bands are on Southern Lord Records, the same label that put out Dave Grohl's Probot, a disc I love, but mostly for Max Calavera and King Diamond (April, baby, the King will be here in April). Earlier today I watched the Foo Fighters as part of Live Earth. Totally different vibe. Spent the day watching bands who want to save the planet and the night hearing bands who'd just as soon watch it burn.

I should be high right now. I finally figured it out. Wolves In the Throne Room are the bastard offspring of Pink Floyd and Emperor.

The falling apart, cushioned bench at the back of the club gone. It was here last week. I have fond memories of that bench.

maybe it's good WITTR are an opener. Keeping up this level of intensity for 30 minutes must take its toll.  Imagine an hour? I feel like someone just kicked my ass and it's only 9:30.

At 9:46, Weedeater's drummer raises his beer to the crowd and the next set begins. It's another three piece: guitar, drums, and bass, this time. The bassist/singer says something that I can't understand. it's great for songs but not so great for banter. The crowd has grown and I feel sorry for anyone who missed Wolves In the Throne Room.

Musically, Weedeater sounds like a Black Sabbath tribute band. The guitarist even wears a Black Sabbath T-shirt. The vocal work, however, is the same I-wish-I-was-Phil-Anselmo growl/scream 500 other metal bands are using these days.

The riffs are so blatantly ripped off from Sabbath that I'm almost pissed. They play them well enough that I'll get over it once the vocals stop. If I had this CD, I'd play it on a soundboard so I could cut out the vocal track and just groove to the music.

The singer/bassist and guitarist look like redneck truckers, the kind that drink Natural Light when they can't afford Bud. The drummer looks like a 40-year-old ex-hippie who gave up peace and love but kept the dope.

I could listen to this for hours, if no one tried to sing. They play enough lengthy instrumentals to assure me of this fact. I wish they'd just do a Sabbath cover and get it over with. "Sweet Leaf," anyone? The singer keeps trying to talk and I wish he'd just shut up and play. it seems to work for Pelican

I bail after Weedeater. I'd like to stay, but the bus only runs so late. Maybe next time 

Personal bias: I just read this over and compared it to my notes. If you want to see a bad Lester Bangs impersonation, I'll show you the notes.
Random detail: If you are also a music journalist, don't ask another writer for a pen. If you can't bring your own tools, get out of the shop.

 
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