Tuesday, August 17, 2010
So it was with clear senses and poison free body that I arrived this show at the Hazmat. And the first thing I noticed is 'FUCK', it sure is annoying to be sober at this place. If nothing else, being drunk had always made me blissfully unaware of how much my lungs are irritated by the clouds of acrid cigarette smoke which are trapped in the unventilated room like whirling vengeful Kami spirits. In addition to BEING an old man at an Oakland crust show, which is not unusual, I actually felt like an old man too. Boo!
Sooner than you could say 'get me a fuckin' drank', I was pumping foam out of a somewhat faulty keg and waiting for it to settle into a beer-like fluid which I could consume. I had enough patience to get maybe a cup and half... not enough to get drunk, but at least take the EDGE off. This was followed of course by liberal puffs of Crystal Airplane Bomb and Blueberry Karma Ice, or whatever it is that kids are packing into joints these days. So much for a a cleansed body and soul.
The band that was playing when I first walked in must have been Out Of Spite. They were a ragtag crew of young brutes, and they looked like a Pyrate Punk band, so I kind of ignored them.
Next was Badr Vogu, who are definitely some of the best up and comers in the East Bay metal scene. For those who don't know, their ranks include Sean from Worldeater, Rob from Farticus and countless GRIND bands, and my good ol' boy Bryce from Hotblack Desiato, and the currently amazing psyche/prog band Hollow Mirrors. BV play the kind of tarry, crusty sludge that inevitably boils up from the cracks of the East Bay. To me, this kind of stuff is like musical comfort food. A style that has always, and should always exist in the filthiest warehouse shows and most flea ridden back yard barbecue parties of Oakland.
Bird is from San Jose and is considered somewhat of a grind band, or at least they are always put on shows with grind(ier) bands. Stylistically they mix it up though, with some fast blast parts, mid tempo sections and even some slow shit. It's only my second time seeing them, and I haven't heard any recordings, but I definitely like it, whatever it is.
The main reason I came to the show was to support Ecocide, who succeeded where others had failed, in booking Genesis Climber an awesome show in San Antonio Texas a few weeks prior. Thanks guys! If enviro-politcal epic sludge crust is your thing, you should probably get down with Ecocide. That's your jam! One problem that was present in Ecocide, which is not an uncommon one in this gloomy corner of the underground, is that crust bands with violins and/or cellos often play venues that lack the adequate PA system which would allow the more delicate instruments to be heard over the pummeling guitars and drums. The classical instruments do indeed add class and tastefulness to the recordings in which they are present, but I could count on one mutilated hand the times when I've been able to appreciate these effects in a live setting. So it goes.
I escaped out the door and past one hundred awkward goodbyes into the brisk Oakland summer night. Outside, crowds of mutants drifted through the neighborhood from the East Bay Express party in Jack London Square. Wondering, as they walked past, 'what is this strange, unmarked heavy metal warehouse over here?'