Wednesday, August 8, 2012


WHAT'S NOT WEAK THIS WEEK – A local show round-up
by Jake Weller

Wednesday, August 8th

Well, Vultures 2012 are calling it a day.  Their thrash-laden wall of sound may have been doomed to end with a band name that included a year, but it will be truly sad to see such a talented and tight group move on to other things.  One can only assume that it will be an entropic fulfillment of years of earnest effort and amazing output, and the members will move on to a recharged state of creative expression.  Only time will tell.  Fortunately, their final show will be as openers for a series of cranial treats at The Funhouse on Wednesday night.  Heady and grindy, yet mellifluous in execution, Spacebag unleash an awe-inspiring flow of technical mastery and punishing brutality that is sadly lacking in the modern era, despite the heightened respect level for agile instrumentation in this town.  Featuring former members of Girth, Sean, and Rorschach (and many related projects), they do it as well as anyone possibly could.  Additionally, Great Falls will offer their seedy, cathartic brain screams to cleanse your spirit from all but the darkest delight, just in time to allow the thunderous Crawlin' to pitch your dinghy aweather and rock you nauseous before they head off on a tour of warmer climes.

Thursday, August 9th

Now, some of you rockin' rockers may not be up for this show, but if you fancy yourself as even reasonably kvlt, you probably hate this column anyway.  Those that can survive on a diet of minimal distortion and a profound lack of shred may want to check out the Black Lodge on Thursday.  Vancouver's Man Your Horse put on an unassuming, drifting, mathy vibe with synthy, looping guitars, which occasionally crescendos into a noisy punk-ass free-for-all a là Drive Like Jehu.  That just gave some of you boners (or lady-boners), admit it.  If you get there early enough, you might enjoy You Are Plural's soft and haunting melodic chamber pop.  They have a cellist.  No shit.  A cellist.  Their sound brings to mind the best of the experimental pop music that was coming out of Britain in the late-'60s, and through the '70s.  You know, the albums that all of your hipster friends are buying at Bop Street that your parents weren't even aware of?  Both bands are opening up for By Sunlight, who are probably pretty cool.

Friday, August 10th
Photo by James Rexroad

What hasn’t been said about Red Fang  and Black Breath a thousand times by every rock journalist imaginable?  If you are familiar with them, then you probably gave some extra plasma this week to afford a ticket to Neumos on Friday night.  But here’s something many of you don’t know: 3/4 of local funky noisemakers, Brokaw, once comprised an equal majority in the super-charged, over-the-top Hungry Crocodiles.  This was way back in the day when Seattle was developing the sound that would quickly go on to capture the ears of the World.  Though they were briefly signed to a major label during the massive band grab of the early-‘90s and played shows with all of the big names that launched out of this city quickly after – often leaving hundreds hanging in lines outside sold out venues – some would say that they never received the recognition they deserved.  Part of this may be because they stood apart from the “grunge” bands by retaining somewhat of a party vibe mixed in with their edgy groove and don’t-give-a-fuck attitude.  People like to mope around here, what can you do?  Twenty years later – after splitting off into many different projects that ran the genre gamut from hip hop to stoner metal and everything in-between – they reunited to create a heavier, noisier version of the same maniacal vision they had in their youth.  In many ways, they still stand apart from everything that is going on currently.  They’ve never compromised their sound to fit in (hell, bassist G. Stuart Dahlquist’s work in seminal doom metal band, Burning Witch, is a testament to how much these guys care about outside evaluation of their art), but goddamn if they don’t make some catchy shit.  Their mixture of stoicism and belligerence onstage is a good reflection of the funky (as in strange) aggression all of their tunes possess.  See them open for a couple metal bands and wonder aloud what the hell they’re doing there, just before acknowledging that you will definitely check them out again.

Saturday, August 11th

Any band that can withstand over 15 years of expansion, contraction, upheaval, success, stagnation, and hair growth, while still maintaining a spot atop the heap of competing heavy bands, is one that has earned its wings and utmost respect from a sprawling fanbase.  Following the one-two punch of the acclaimed Navigating the Bronze and the bona fide classic that is Jersey Shores, Akimbo have possibly come to the realization that they have won the war, and the only place to go is home.  And home they will come to The Comet Tavern for their final show on Saturday to have one last frenzied blowout for those who bore witness to their earliest house party appearances (hey, remember the time that they blew the breaker at 2nd Avenue Pizza THREE TIMES ON THE SAME SONG?!) and saw them frolic into their maturity, opening for bands like Converge and Neurosis and touring the World.  Come very early to this show to guarantee yourself a spot; with bands like Brothers of the Sonic Cloth and Bitches Crystal opening, it's gonna be a real barn-burner.


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