Hey hey hey! I hope everyone had a metal New Year. BTW just so you know, getting drunk and shooting off fireworks in the street isn’t metal. NYE is amateur night homie! So what’s a metal New Year look like? STAYING INSIDE WITH YOUR CAT AND MAKING A MONKEYFIGHTING LASAGNA. YEEEEEAAAAAHHHHH!
Anyhoo, old business first: our demo session was completed on December 20! Chris Ryan of Dead City Sound, Recording The First Three Omotai Records and Being Married To Melissa helped us lay down ten tracks of punishing sludge metal in a single day! You may get to hear some of this material on a single or something later this spring if you’re good, but for right now just know that we’re well on our way to Omotai full-length #3. There’s still a long way to go, but we’re pumped for it and we hope you are too.
Enough of that noise! ON TO NEW BUSINESS! By which I mean, stuff that happened two days ago.
#12: Fitzgerald’s (Houston), January 3 with Sleep Envy, Co-Pilot and DSGNS
Before the show, we stepped over, as is becoming a habit for us, to Tacos A Go-Go, where we ran into the Tenth Doctor and Daniel Plainview.
The Doctor was pretty chill for a guy who’s been dead for four years but Plainview seemed to be having a bad day- apparently the oil crash is wreaking havoc on his new slant-fracking operation. He kept mumbling something about how he was going to drink my aluminium phosphate-ester slurry. I dunno, it was weird.
In part, our excuse for doing this show was to facilitate a performance by Sleep Envy, featuring our good buddy and Houston expatriate Evan Jones. Evan, who’s known Sam for like way way too long, used to perform on solo bass with a drum machine back about 10 or so years ago around Montrose under the name Ronin King, and if I recall correctly I met him around the same time Sam and I started playing together. Sleep Envy is something of a reprise of that project, but with the band rounded out to include Sam on guitar and Steve Smith of Carrion Sun, Defending the Kingdom and From Beyond on drums.
Needless to say, we were all very excited to see what this band would be like, and we weren’t disappointed. Evan’s songs are shockingly catchy in sort of a Killing-Joke-by-way-of-Joe-Preston kind of way, and the band put in a really solid showing despite never having performed together before. Evan doesn’t really perform at all anymore, but I wouldn’t have guessed from his confidence and enthusiasm onstage.
I was particularly jazzed to watch Steve, because he used to be in one of my favorite Houston bands, Motion Turns It On, and I hadn’t seen him play in more than four years. He did a lot of very cool Dave Grohl type riff-oriented stuff with Sleep Envy, which was something I hadn’t seen before from him, and it sounded great. And of course, it’s always a treat to get to see Sam play- I don’t want to make him self-conscious, so I’ll just say he has great stage presence and leave it there.
You can download Sleep Envy’s demo from their Bandcamp page.
Speaking of not performing that often, before last night, Co-Pilot hadn’t performed since 2013! Not that you would’ve known from their show either- they totally rocked and sounded AMAZING.
I have to single out Brandon Lemons’s bass, which was absolutely titanic. He told me what that crazy thing he’s playing is but, not gonna lie, I immediately forgot. Some model that Gibson made for a couple of years in the ’70s. Anyway it looks badass and sounds like a dream, and as a devotee (not to say a connoisseur, but that’s a discussion for another day, ha ha ha! ugh) of weird vintage gear I heartily approve.
We’re super honored that Co-Pilot chose to break their long silence with us, and we hope this means they’ll be getting back into it for real. We’ve missed you guys!
Co-Pilot’s latest is their split with Alaskan. I have this and it’s quite good!
(Brandon also put out Terrestrial Grief and Fresh Hell on his label, the Treaty Oak Collective, and he just re-upped us with copies of the latter on white and orange haze vinyl. Get ’em while they last.)
We (meaning, everyone but me) met the DSGNS guys last spring at SXSW- they played immediately after Omotai at the erstwhile Red River hellhole Metal & Lace. Their music is excellent- they have sort of a less-techy Dillinger Escape Plan thing going on- and they brought it to the stage like there was no tomorrow. Light show, dudes thrashing around everywhere, standing on the monitors, climbing on the PA, the whole nine. Guys, I tried so hard to get a decent picture of these dudes, but just I don’t feel like I did it justice.
We’ll be playing with DSGNS again in Austin on March 22 for Texas Metal Collective’s Alive In A Dive show at the 04 Lounge.
Somehow all of this went by incredibly quick and suddenly it was time for us to play. We busted out two never-before-performed tunes: “Last of the Green Vial” (featuring the Epic Blastbeat From Hell) and “A Cruel Weight, Thy Wound” (featuring Dropped R Tuning Or Some Shit). Setlist:
A Ruined Oak
Last of the Green Vial
Throats of Snakes
A Cruel Weight, Thy Wound
We brought full stacks this time for MAXIMUM YES and it was a powerful and fun set.
. . . except for the part where I forgot how to play “Orison.” Whoops.
Despite this minor setback, for which appropriate self-flagellation was performed, we all had a great time at the show. Thanks so much to Fitzgerald’s for having us back yet again, to Co-Pilot for playing with us and particularly to Brandon for helping set up the show, to DSGNS for driving down to show us what’s what and to Sleep Envy for being there.
Coming up next: we’ll be at Rudyard’s British Pub on Friday, February 13. We are super looking forward to this one, which will also feature NOT ONLY our tight bros in Austin’s Lions of Tsavo BUT ALSO our tight bros in Dallas’s Mountain of Smoke AND STILL YET AS WELL Holy Money, a recently minted local act that features members of Hatred Surge, Machine Gun Romantics, Gay Marriage and about eight zillion other awesome hardcore bands from the 2000s. It’s gonna be fucking great. Don’t miss it.