It’s A Double Header! Face To Face at the Brighton Music Hall and Corrosion Of Conformity in Saudi Iraqistan Downstairs

I’ve been getting lazy with writing, and that’s all your fault, so let’s get down and dirty, then shower together after.

I’m gonna go ahead and say that on June 17 of our Lord’s year 2012, I went to one of the most unique shows I’ve ever been to.Yes, this is keeping Lights in consideration, who is electropop, a genre which I haven’t experienced much of, but c’mon, how many people can say they’ve seen a band play an acoustic set of an album they absolutely never have touched live before? You’ve got a double whammy of unusual circumstances which add up to a show you’d be a fool to miss, mainly because Face To Face’s best album is Ignorance Is Bliss, bar none. Stripping away their Punk sound for a more Alternative approach, it was a lot more accessible, but did get a bit of flaming from lamers. Some of those same lamers actually showed up, having grown warm to the album, so that was good to see. Opener Nat Rufus was a nice blend of Against Me!/Rise Against styled punk with a little bit of a country spice thrown in, all done acoustic for good measure. His music has been featured on Sons Of Anarchy, so it’s pretty badass. Face To Face took the stage soon after, and it’s quite clear from the start that they’re chill guys before they’ve even said a word.

So that shitty cellphone picture is just what I saw the whole set; two guys playing their hearts out in a terrible venue because they love us. Sersiously, the Brighton Music Hall has no decoration, and I’m betting it did when it was still Harper’s Ferry. No matter, they sure were a bright light in the murky water that seems to be that venue’s concert line-up. Though I digress. It was up-close and intimate, with myself being second or third from the front and intently watching Trever and Scott’s fingers glide across their guitars, occasionally stumbling, as humans are wont to do, but that’s all part of the stripped down, organic nature of transferring punchy electricity to the once breathing wood. The highlights were my favorite, Everyone Hates A Know-It-All, Lost,  and Maybe Next Time. Primo cuts from primo beef. Another advantage of this show being at such a small and intimate venue is I got to meet Trever, shake hands, express gratitude at playing such a wonderful album in full, etc. Check it out!

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Oh yeah, my idioteque phone decides to delete pictures instead of saving it like a smart phone because I make one small slip-up. Well, at the very least I still have the memory.

Now this here show I wasn’t expecting to be too off the wall, since it’s the Middle East, a venue that has become infamous in my mind for its almost telepathic no mosh policy. Why the fuck wouldn’t you move when Gaza‘s on, dammit? Inb4 jokes about Gaza being in the Middle East.

Putting the fear of no God into a Godful nation.

Hailin from SLC, Utah, these punks make Sludgecore interesting. The trick is to add some angular mathematics, a healthy dose of schizophrenia, and a genuinely formidable sound/stage presence combo that’ll make the nonbelievers sing “Hallelujeracunt!” while devolving into an orgy of violence. Unfortunately, as I mentioned above, this venue is full of squares, and if you’re looking to punch someone in the nose, go to the Palladium. It’s still great to see that Jon’s mannerisms have only gotten more insane, with him at a few points abandoning his microphone to infiltrate the crowd and bellow from within, and even before that he had jumped down into the crowd area to get more of a “punk rock vibe goin'”. Attaboy.

DESSSSTROOOOOOOOOOOY YOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

While many audience members looked confused or scared at Jon prowling around menacingly while the band continued to blast their warning message to everyone’s unready ears, I and the other Gaza fans took delight in knowing what would happen. From dragging his microphone along the ground to create an odd homemade doomy ambiance to him sounding like a raving, drunken preacher denouncing the world’s ills, it had all the hallmarks of a great Gaza performance. The only problem was that about 5 out of however many attendees seemed to enjoy being touched, pointed at, yelled at, or generally graced with the chest of (since Jon’s always taller than everyone) a monster. The new material promises to be as punishing, if not more so than previous outings, and if they ever do decide to go soft, it’d still sound like fellow Sludgecore band Imbroglio’s ugly little sister on heroin mixed with gunpowder for extra kick.

Following these titans were a relatively smaller band, both in size and I dearly hope influence, Black Cobra. Since they drove me damn near to drowsiness with a lack of actual songwriting dynamics and also-ran performance in general (or maybe their songs actually were that badly written), then I’ll make my review the same. Suck it. And the guy in the white Baroness shirt who was actually into that band can suck it too. I’d assumed they’d be boring because of their name, and it saddens me to know I was right.

Torche broke the monotonous smoky fuck cloud created by the cobra with their mixture of heavier than thou Sludge Metal and a poppy sensibility that can only come from being from the flowery state of Florida.

It’s a guitar party, and you’re invited.

Torche have somehow found the exact right balance between heaviness and melody, perfected by similar bands such as Canada’s Bison B.C. and Boston boys The Proselyte. Just note how this song here, with the assistance of some neato effects, goes from being a moderately heavy Stoner Metal number to sounding like a depth charge in your speaker.

Like frosting on a supple cake, they know how to perfectly accent their songs with interesting elements so you actually feel like you’re participating in the listening experience. People reacted well to Torche, as they’ve been here several times and have built up a small but dedicated base in Boston, including some non-Metal folk, which just goes to show their versatility. Here’s to hoping Torche keep up the great work as the superheroes of Stoner Pop.

Raleigh’s own Corrosion Of Conformity have been around a long time, and can actually claim that the birthing of Crossover Thrash and some of the popularity of Sludge Metal belongs to them, which one of their new songs, The Doom seems set on demonstrating.

They’re also dirty mothafuckas.

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They just put out a new album, and recently came around recently in support of Clutch, who are also dirty old men who like their drink. If you’re from the South, it’s impossible to be Edge. C.O.C. might be some low-down dirty dogs, but their music is actually quite technical and dare I say… mildly Proggy, and is nowhere near as lazy as a good dose of Southern heat normally puts bands anywhere below Virginia. With this odd combination of technical Crossover and groovy Sludge, one who’s not all too familiar with them may just look in awe at how they can stand with their bodies being about 65% liquor and dirt, and then be awed at how they seamlessly go from one style to another.

It’s clear how they got to be so influential, because it causes a reaction in the vagina of every lesbian. A couple of girls who I’m sure had never seen each other before that night decided to bust out some PG-13 action for all to see. It was… peculiar to say the least, but there were no children around to complain, since this band’s for grown folk. Go see them and hopefully you’ll score too.

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