I let this go way too long, but after we got back from Montana:
We had two more shows:
#8: Holy Mountain (Austin), August 21 with Curse the Heavens, North, and SEX CHAMBER!!!
OK so TECHNICALLY we didn’t play this show. Sam pulled a muscle moving gear the first night of tour (and in typical Sam style, didn’t tell anyone until we were ALREADY ON OUR WAY HOME) and was in so much pain by the end that we had to cancel our appearance. But! He’s fine now- nothing serious- and I was able to deliver our apologies in person at Holy Mountain, since I live in Austin.
(Unfortunately I missed Curse the Heavens. Sorry guys.)
North, on tour from Arizona, sounded a bit like Neurosis. Loud, slow, heavy but spacey at the same time, you know? Their drummer, Zack, was playing a Dennis Chambers signature snare drum, which has got to be one of my favorite pieces of equipment of all time. Tom Naumann from Jet By Day, who kinda sorta taught me to play, played one of these for a long time, as did the drummer for the Walt Lariat, who were an incredibly cool prog-emo band out of Athens. . . anyway. I nerded out with Zack for way too long about it. I also bought their new record, Metanoia, and you should too!
Daine Vineyard, of Lions of Tsavo and our good friend, is the bass player for Sex Chamber, who sound a bit like Venom: meaty old-school dark thrash. Thumbs up. The guitar players in this band both kind of looked like Ron Reyes from Black Flag but with longer hair, but they REALLY looked like each other, so much so that I could have sworn they were brothers. But apparently they are not! I hope they do not take offense to my saying this, especially because I’m pretty sure Daine helped set up this show! Many thanks to him as well as James and Bart from Holy Mountain for doing this show. We were super excited to play and we’re sorry we couldn’t make it.
#9: Fitzgerald’s (Houston), September 3 with Funeral Horse, Lo-Pan and Black Cobra
This happened far enough after the end of the tour that we’re kinda cheating by putting it in the same basket but you know what, get bent. This was my first time playing at Fitzgerald’s since I was in college, back before you had to take your shoes off to get on an airplane, and it was really cool to see how the place has changed. Ryan Chavez doing sound at Fitz! Who would have thought. Let’s not harp on it though.
The subject of Sam’s favorite t-shirt, Funeral Horse, have the weird cobbled-together feel of a lot of good bands in Houston, where everyone seems to be coming from a different background, and it all adds up to something really unique. Paul/Walter is an amusing frontman, and I also quite enjoyed their beefy and off-kilter rhythm section. The opening track, which if I am correct interpolated the riff from “I Want You/ She’s So Heavy,” was a particular highlight. They recently appeared on a KISS tribute album with a bunch of other good Texas bands, including the Linus Pauling Quartet, the Ex-Optimists, the Hangouts, and motherfucking CLOCKPOLE?!?! WHAT. Anyway you can buy that here. I probably will and I don’t like KISS at all.
Lo-Pan, from Columbus, Ohio, did this awesome midtempo blues-metal thing that kind of reminded me of Clutch but way better if you ask me. Their singer Jeff had a huge voice and a badass old-school Ninja Turtles t-shirt, and Jason (I think? It was a while ago) had one of the most dialed-in drum sounds I’ve heard in a while.
Big, loud rock. A very fun band. Go buy their new record Colossus right now!
Black Cobra I had seen once before, opening for Torche way way back in 2008, but I didn’t remember them that well. I was definitely not prepared for epic odyssey of violence on which Black Cobra took us. The endurance and physical commitment these guys have is amazing.
This is at least an hour into their set! Just the absolute pinnacle of no-bullshit heavy metal brutality. Go buy all of their fucking records! Now!!!!
Anyway that was the end of that string of shows. Since then we’ve been holed up writing our next record, but we have some cool stuff coming up. More on that later this week.