Tuesday, August 30, 2011

0 6 Killer New Discoveries from Total Fest X

Let's just cut to chase and say that Total Fest was amazing. Missoula is a rad town, and the organizers, and volunteers were all gracious and awesome people. I saw a lot of great performances over the 3 days of music from bands all over the country and even Australia. The most interesting dynamic of the fest was that the organizers seem to have their fingers on the pulse of the underground music scenes from around the country and brought key bands from those scenes all together for 3 days of music, river swims, and BBQ's. That's dedication, and there really isn't a festival like it that I have ever heard of. I was well versed in bands like Brooklyn, NY's Vaz and Olympia's Milk Music and both were great. Seattle's own Helms Alee drew a packed room and delivered an astonishing set once again. People lost there minds at Big Business' headlining basement set on Friday and then again when Coady Willis and and a visibly intoxicated Jarred Warren took the stage for a rare and raucous White Shit performance -- a sure highlight of the weekend. Headlining Saturday night was Hammerhead. The trio best known for being an integral part of the Amp Rep roster in the 90's came out unhinged. Absolutely mind-blowing live band, and my favorite performance of the entire weekend. Minneapolis' The Blind Shake were a sonic whirlwind of awesome once again, and I was finally able to catch up with San Fran's Kowloon Walled City, who were as brutal and heavy as I hoped they would be. Among these sure bets where also a whole slew of previously unknown bands that left their impression on me over the course of the weekend.

Here are 6 killer new discoveries I made at Total Fest X:  

Pigs (Oakland):

Pigs laid down some thick riffs, and plays what singer Jack Murphy describes as "hyphy-thrash-doom-boogie.". Sure that sounds about right?! It was heavy and groovy that's to be sure. 

(Sorry no video or music to share)

Omotai (Houston):

This trio from Houston, Texas brought the hammer down early on during the first full night of the festival mixing grind, hardcore, and some proggy influences into a brutal sound that caught my attention immediately and reminded me a little of Mastodon. Their first EP "Peace Through Fear" can be streamed and purchased via omotai.bandcamp.com.

The Men (Brooklyn):

You know when your at a festival and you come across a band that blows your f'ing mind but its kind of late in the day and you've downed a fare share of beverages and then you wake up the next day having purchased the record, but aren't sure if it was the booze talking or the band was really THAT badass? I'm glad to find out that Brooklyn's THE MEN are indeed amazing! I love when that happens. Check out their most recent effort "Leave Home".

Dead (Australia):

Wantage USA made a good desicion snatching up this Aussie drum and bass duo. Dead filled the Melvins void on the fest at times sounding astonishing like Buzzo and company with superb drumming and molten sludge remmiscent of stuff off Bullhead or even Houdini. Their debut "THUNDAAAAAH" is available now.

P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S (Portland):

These Portland party animals play some downright kick ass and fast as fuck punk rock remiscent of bands like Zeke or The Hookers. I'm finding more and more that punk rock done correctly is super refreshing in 2011. Whether it's OFF! or P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S, the world needs more. New PDX label Power Blaster Records' first release was a 7" for these guys, and have followed up with Lord Dying's first 7" as well. Check'em both out!

Pygmy Shrews (Brooklyn):

This noisey trio from Brooklyn are on tour with Vaz and were really impressive the first night of the fest. It's rip roaring fast with both male and female shouted vocals. The female vocals reminding me of Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth. They played Seattle the following Sunday. I'll bet $1,000,000 you missed out big time.

Posted by Nik Christofferson


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