It’s night one of my Noise Pop adventure, and I figured that there’s no better way to start it off than with some good ol’ American rock music.
The night started off with Orchid, from here in SF, who looked and sounded like they had been teleported from 1976 Birmingham. The vocalist has a fantastic voice, and the drummer seemed to have the best skills in the group. Drumstick pieces were flying like shrapnel during the set. However, their songs don’t have enough variety and modern relevance to stand out. It felt too much like a Sabbath tribute band than anything.
ASG (…the Amplification of Self Gratification), from North Carolina, reminded me of Texas, where I consumed a steady diet of this screaming metal. They have some very catchy songs, and are about as polished as a band can be that embraces being rough around the edges. I haven’t been to see a band of this kind in a while, except for maybe CKY. The guitarist plays a left handed flying V. I thought their set was pretty memorable. I’d go see them again.
Saviours, from Oakland, was something I just couldn’t get into. It was one of those things where they started a song, I tuned out after 30 seconds, and when I tuned back in minutes later, it was still the same song. I did not like the vocals at all, and the musicians didn’t send me over the top at any point. I thought it was very mediocre and didn’t warrant a second billing position.
Fu Manchu came on stage and showed everyone who is boss. Experience shined though in every aspect of the set. They brought more of a show…about as much as a band of this variety will allow. It was really interesting because the hodgepodge crowd of jocks, burnouts, rockers, and music geeks only congealed and made sense when they hit the stage. Between songs, the fans embraced the opportunity to yell out requests- a clear sign of a passionate fanbase. They are one of the artists to define the fairly small stoner rock genre, but I would say their sound upon that that by stoner rock roots such as doom metal and a tad of psychedelic rock. The vocalist has a good metal voice, high enough to cut through the noise. The only real complaint I had was that the bassist scared me. Bald men with mustaches freak me out.
Fu Manchu performance: 8/10
Saviours performance: 4/10
ASG performance: 7.5/10
Orchid performance: 6/10
venue (Slim’s): 6.5/10
value ($15/ticket): 8/10
Video from a 2007 Troubadour show: