Art, man. That’s all I could think of.
I mean, damn, Neptune. That’s some art rock right there for ya. Imagine if The Boredoms were even more profoundly disturbed? Neptune is an appropriate name for them, as some of the more atmospheric and groovy passages bring to mind the gaseous cerulean winter waste of the aforementioned celestial sphere. It sounded like music made for garbage disposals with a taste for Mike Patton’s Pranzo Oltranzista, which was essentially an experiment with musique concrète that could be what an alien would consider good fuck music. I didn’t hate it, I was just a little disillusioned by the sheer ART of it all, what with the weird for weirdness’ sake home-made instruments, which included (but were not limited to) a guitar that seems to be made of little more than a few wires and transducer thingamabobs, a keyboard that appeared to have been made with an old lunchbox, and hip attachments that, when struck with a bowstring in a similar manner to a viol, will produce an abhorrently eldritch sound.
These men walk among us. It was interesting.
Next were a band that was somehow less weird even though they’re called Brain Tentacles and consist of a saxophonist and a drummer. At least Neptune had sort of a guitar, drums, and keyboard setup. However, since it appears the dudes in Brain Tentacles are wicked into metal, brah, they actually pulled off some pretty straight sounding Shining/Ihsahn-esque prog experiment with enough extreme metal tinges to make you nod aggressively at points. More catchy grooves to be found, and Gunface of The Red Chord (R.I.P.) made a guest bass appearance for the last song. Handsome guy hardcore hairstyle, well-maintained beard, and later-era Ulver shirts are the new black (metal).
And to top off this Dada sundae were Melt-Banana, though in a more adorable and lightweight duo format, consisting of the core members: singer/squeaker Yako (also in control of the drum tracks and non-guitar effects) and guitarist Agata, and a short wall of speakers that made the lack of a drummer seem completely normal, as all the thump and thud was still there.
That glowing thing is I suppose the device that controlled the audio fireworks. The setlist was (predictably) made largely of songs from the new album, Fetch, with some oldies tossed in like grenades of familiarity. Notable in my mind were the more recent “Chain Shot To Have Some Fun” off the catchy Cell Scape, the punk-meets-glitch of “Cat Brain Land” from Bambi’s Dilemma, and a handful of noiseballs from the artgrind classic, their debut Speak Squeak Creak. You can bet this was at least as crazy as when I saw them last at T.T. The Bear’s. A constantly undulating mass of excitable humans who had stood in wait since the beginning of the show to get ripshit. And how could one not wish to thrash about in response to the blasting, beeping, scratching, crashing dithyramb of constructed noises like a demolition of a nightmarish acidscape? Art, man.
As for the next one, I was busy making jam from sound waves up until I arrived in time to catch the later half of Revocation‘s set, smack in the middle of “Invidious”, and then coasting from “Dismantle The Dictator” to a lofty end at “No Funeral”. And all were at peace.
Then came 3 Inches Of Blood to make war with everyone’s brains, concentrating mainly on the newer material that sounds much more rooted in the epic and grand stylings of ‘Maiden and ‘Priest (who else?), rather than the raging power metal of their earlier releases. If anything, they found a way to make their songs even catchier than before, which I couldn’t have fathomed was possible.
“Deadly Sinners” and “The Goatrider’s Horde” are the classic and mandatory tunes, of course, but the new tunes weren’t at all frightening or offensive, so I feel it was well worth the experience.
Snowcapping this event were Death Angel, who I haven’t familiarised myself with aside from tracks off The UltraViolence and Relentless Retribution. I know, I fucked up. So I was underprepared, and the only song I recognised was “Truce”. But hey, it was good to see one of the underrated titans of thrash in a cozy venue at the very least.
Thanks for the ticket, Scott!