Kingston, Ontario was host to a very special treat Sunday night. The mightyfrom Savannah, Georgia and L.A.'s stopped by on an off-date from their tour with Mastodon to shake Bar None to its foundations. Kingdom of Noise had the very special honour of interviewing Phillip Cope and Laura before the show. The interview will be posted at a later date. Warming up the crowd on this night was Chase the Day and Tubby Custard.
Chase the Day opened up the night. Not too bad for a bunch of young guys. The vocalist did his best to look like Phil Anselmo without all the tattoos. Cargo shorts, muscle shirt and thenot spiked. I guess Jason did that too. Anyway, pretty standard death metal. Decent guitar work, standard drumming and plenty of effort from the vocalist. He seemed to go a little heavy on the random growls though. But still better than Chris Barnes. Performance wise, they have a ways to go. Other than the vocalist, they were pretty much a "stand there and play" band. Even the vocalist wasn't great in that department. Fist pumps, hunch over the monitor, some headbanging. But at least he moved. They call the openers "beer bands" for a reason.
Tubby Custard was a little better despite their name. I'd put these guys more in the/ file. These guys made up for Chase the Day's lack of movement. They seemed to be more into it. That, or better at hitting all the notes while moving. Call me petty, but I couldn't get over how much the vocalist looked like a douche. He could scream well enough but he made me want to punch him. Before and after their set he was wearing one of those stupid flat-billed hats. Backwards. Strike 1. Under the hat was a haircut straight out of a 1975 yearbook picture (but not just straight and long, he had swooped bangs). Strike 2. Strike 3 came for his shirt. It looked like a sarong with buttons. I don't generally judge a book by it's cover but sometimes I'd just rather not see the cover. Again, pretty decent work from all members but nothing special. I have to take points off though. When you are an opener, and only play 5 songs or so, it's best to play all your own. And if you are going to play a cover, don't be so cliche as to play a Lamb of God song. At least do a Slayer song. Oh, and sarong boy kept doing that chicken neck thing. Kids these days.
. Finally a band with some serious experience. I have to be honest, I was more into them in the Challenger/Void/Null days. I had a hard time getting into . I might have revisit it after seeing them live. It's been a while since I've seen a band with that amount of in their game. The is what I was having a hard time with on the album but I can really appreciate it more live. I was really impressed with the way they shifted tempos . Also, the number of times I saw guitarist/vocalist Sacha Dunable use his pedal board was dizzying. How he can keep it all straight is beyond me. It was really odd to see bassist Joe Lester front and centre but it works for . Since both guitarist (Dave Timnick being the other) were also singing, it balanced things out. Plus, the bass work in is really prominent. I think that's where most of the is. My eyes were pretty much glued on his fingers for most of the set. Remarkable musicianship. What I wouldn't give to have half his talent. I have to mention drummer Danny Walker. I need to give him props for keeping everything straight given all teh times changes and jazzy breaks. Not your run of the mill "keep the beat" drummer. Not being as up on my catalogue as maybe I should be, and having a shitty memory to boot, I can't tell you just how much they delved into all their albums but I am pretty sure it was heavy on . I was pretty impressed. Enough so to buy a shirt. I just might go back and listen to the album again too. At the end of the set, Sacha said "We need some weed. So if anyone has some..." Good idea. I just might have to try that approach next time.
Man, I have been vibrating since I saw this show announced. I never thought I would get to see a band of this caliber right in my own backyard. I was sure I'd have to go to Montreal or Toronto for it. Needless to say, my expectations were pretty high. They did not disappoint. They brought their crust/sludge/doom and rocked our collective worlds! I wasn't sure how such an underground band would go over in Kingston. It seems to be a -core/town. So when I saw a) how many people were there (kicked Cattle Decapitation's ass by a long shot) and b) how into it they were, it made me smile. The only time that smile left my face was when I was screaming along. This is the second time in the last few months I have been overwhelmed by the presence of a female . (The first was Fuck the Facts) Laura commands the stage. She is just more proof that metal is not just a man's game. Phillip told me that he lost his voice a couple days previous and that he had no range, but I couldn't tell. Bassist Cory was no slouch either. I really like the fact that are a band effort. All 3 were involved in the vocals. Not just a and their backing band. It should be no surprise that the most impressive part of the set was the drumming of Eric Hernandez and Carl McGinley. It was really something special. Nah, special isn't a good enough word. How about fucking unbelievable!! To see both those guys playing so tightly was mind-boggling. I would have been just as impressed if they only had one drummer, but seeing them with both was all-you-can-do-is-shake-your-head awesome. At the end of the set, that's exactly what I did. I turned to my buddy Mark McGee (Architect, Jesus Mullet,ex-I Hate Sally) and we both just shook our heads. We couldn't believe we had just witnessed that. As I mentioned earlier, my memory is the pits, so I can't give you a but it was heavy on Static Tensions. I have been listening to all their stuff lately (interview research/refresh) so it all kind of melds together for me but you could tell which album they were touring behind. They could play songs from only Static Tensions and I would still be on Cloud Nine. It's the best album of the year without a doubt. I feel truly blessed to have been able to attend this show. There has been very few times that I have been able to see a band that I consider that legendary at all, let alone in such an intimate environment. I will start praying to the metal gods that they can somehow find their way back to Kingston. However, I will make the trip to Toronto if I have to (not tonight. I have to work). It would be more than worth the gas money.