A Ruined Oak West Coast Tour Day 1: Arlington

Hello and welcome back to the Omotai tour diary! We join our heroes just before the release date of the new double LP, A Ruined Oak, which has been in the works since the Earth was young and new, before the winds and the waves and the fires inside shaped her into the weathered rock we know today.

(Please buy our record)

In support of A Ruined Oak our heroes have embarked on travels to the faraway lands of the North West, which began, as is their wont, with a hurried loading session followed by a prolonged shvitz in rush-hour traffic.

Was the loading sweat-soaked? This is Houston we’re talking about so take a wild fucking guess.

Our protagonists arrived at their first station with nary a moment to spare- indeed, the evening had long passed into night, and the festivities were already underway.

Friday, September 29: The Sunshine Bar (Arlington, TX) with Filthy Arsenal, Vault Dweller and They Say The Wind Made Them Crazy


When we arrived, Filthy Arsenal were playing a set of what I like to refer to as “banjo punk” although as I am now reminded, they did not in fact have a banjo.

I regret to say that being preoccupied with checking in I was not able to get a great sense of their songs, but they sounded good and the anarcho-acoustic style was a welcome start to an eclectic evening. I plan to check out their music on Bandcamp later and you should too!

We weren’t due to actually load in until after Vault Dweller played, so while they set up I attended to the merch table and admired their dope-ass shirts

Vault Dweller are a straight-up grindcore band with a playful sensibility. They have that feeling you get from classic Napalm Death or Brutal Truth, where the music sounds like it’s on the verge of falling apart but the band still grooves at the macro level. It’s one of the best things a grind band can do and I liked this band a lot. Special props to drummer Shannon Paine-Jesam for an unusual cymbal setup that incorporated stacked rides with a sizzle chain and multiple effect crashes. I know that means nothing to most of you but this is the drummer’s blog entry so tough noogies.

Melissa bought their CD Fucked Up Lizard People but we can’t listen to it because the van has no CD player :(. Fortunately that can be found on Bandcamp as well, although I don’t see a way to buy that awesome shirt? Attn band, plz fix ASAP thx

We loaded in while Sarah Ruth of They Say The Wind Made Them Crazy set up her dulcimer and harmonium. Sarah has made previous appearances on this page, most recently playing in both TSTWMTC and Unconscious Collective at Carnage Asada in 2015, but we had not seen her perform solo before.

We don’t mean to discount the efforts of Gregg Pickett but I think we agreed this was the best iteration of her operatic noise that we had seen.

Late in the set she did this screeching thing with effects on it that was downright terrifying. TSTWMTC I think demonstrates the strengths of avant-garde music and exemplifies how it can be both important and accessible. Their 2016 release Far From the Silvery Light is one of the best records on Tofu Carnage- if you don’t buy ours, buy that one.

We had the privilege of headlining.


Get Your Dead Straight
Lurching Away
Last of the Green Vial
A Ruined Oak
A Maiden Nerve
Tusk Aurora
Back Office (encore)

After three months preparing for the album release and tour and not playing shows it was a welcome release to get to rock. The Sunshine audience rewarded us with both an encore AND a mosh pit.

After the show we sold our first copy of A Ruined Oak to a guy named Bill, a former Houston resident who recalled seeing me and Melissa play in our old bands during the Proletariat era!

We also enjoyed meeting a young gentleman named Eric (we think?), who bought both Fresh Hell and Terrestrial Grief and had us sign both. <3

Many thanks to Matt, Andrew and everyone at the Sunshine for throwing us a kickass show, and to Jaryth Webber of Blightcaster and Vmthanaachth for making it happen.

After the show we crashed with James “Tha” Gruder of DTADW and his cats

The next morning we breakfasted on local doughnuts, and I, realizing no Omotai tour would be complete without me leaving my fucking soap bottle behind in someone’s shower, did exactly that.






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