Friday, September 14, 2012

0 SHOW PREVIEW: Deadkill | Gaytheist (Record Release) | Monogamy Party | Battle Stations

As you are likely aware, this very blog has extremely close ties with the upstart rock label Good To Die Records.  In fact, the owner of both, Nik Christofferson, was inspired to start the label after seeing some of the more obvious gaps in the Northwest music scene while blogging.  Because of this, it has always felt a little incestuous to be on this site, plugging the bands he has entered into business with over the last year.  Nevertheless, sometimes that dude puts on an undeniably great show.  This Saturday's event at The Comet is one of those times.

Leading up to the release of their debut 7” EP, local 5-piece throwback hardcore unit, Deadkill, began a rampaging string of shows of rapidly increasing profile and octane.  It's no wonder – their live set contains all of the beer-soaked, raw and unruly energy that typically manifests itself only in the intimate confines of underage house parties under the imminent threat of invading authority.  Vocalist Bryan Krieger is usually found at the front of the stage, wide-eyed and half naked, spitting his venomous, antagonistic lyrics in a quasi-confrontational stance at everyone in the room, roiling the audience into a furor to match the dual-guitar and driving rhythmic punk onslaught of the backline.  For example:

Despite all of this, their placement on the bill as the headliner is merely because someone had to be.  All four of the bands this evening are quite worthy of claiming absolute dominion over the audience's attention.

Portland's Gaytheist, one of the most recent additions to the Good To Die family, has played Seattle a number of times over the last 12 months, ingratiating themselves with a growing number of show-goers and creating a buzz that their latest effort, Stealth Beats, more than adequately lives up to.  In classic power trio formation, these guys at once seem to emulate every great band to come before them, while at the same time taking every trope in the punk/metal/rock canon and tossing it out the goddamn window. 

In fact, this whole evening – technically Gaytheist's album release show – could be described as a showcase of a new wave of unhinged aggression in defiance of the ironically stodgy conventions that tend to creep into a scene full of maturing rock bands veering towards embitterment and staunch dedication to a dying sound.  All of these guys play with the youthful fire and enthusiasm of a teenage garage band, who have nothing to lose, and the whole World as their oyster, and yet, they're all veterans of “the scene.”  It's like they just said, “Fuck it, I'll do it my way,” and saw the path out of the pit of impending obsolescence.  It's damn refreshing.

Having just recently returned from an extended tour to the East Coast and back, Monogamy Party will be in top form Saturday night, ready to pounce on the hometown crowd that they haven't seen in many weeks.  They are all things that a great rock band should be: passionate, intense, fearless, and just fucking great fun.  The fact that their music is as immediate and entertaining as their live show is what truly makes them something special.  For a guitarless three-piece, they put on one hell of a melodious racket.  Yos-wa's churning bass – backed by a throng of Verellen's almighty amps – provides a thick wall of sludge, balancing out the madcap clattering of Keith Tucker's skins and Kennedy Carda's insane ramblings and screams.  When it peaks, man, it really peaks.

Starting off the whole mess is Battle Stations – the only band in the line up not on the Good To Die roster.  These up-and-comers have been turning a lot of heads recently, and certainly caught the attention of the SRG crew after both opening the Deadkill release show and then laying down a blazing set at the Josephine in front of a criminally (and yet, ideally) small crowd a few months back.  Everybody who witnessed the latter performance felt like part of the band that night – bumping up against vocalist Zack Marley's writhing bones and violently swaying in unison with the groove-laden, crunchy, keys-driven riffs – and really, isn't achieving that feeling why we go to shows?



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