It’s my second night at DNA Lounge this week, and my second of three nights with a four band line up. That’s a lot of music.
First up tonight are local up-and-comers Kowloon Walled City. I saw KWC earlier this year, and they really impressed me. They have a unique sound that’s heavy as fuck. They may not look like they sound: lead singer Scott Evans wears a button up shirt, and the others are essentially the t-shirt and jeans type…and not metal tees. This simply adds to their allure- there’s something different about them. Evans’ desperate screaming paired with melancholy guitar, trudging bass, and relentless drums create their clean yet sludgy sound. My only complaint is that the guitarist needs to turn around more….he spends the majority of the set with his back to the crowd working some feedback from his amp, but it disconnects him from the audience. I especially like ‘Turk Taylor and Jones’ and ‘Clockwork’. KWN just released an album on Tuesday, and are getting some great press around it.
Bison b.c., from British Columbia (get it!), are one of those metal bands, like headliners Kylesa, that share vocal duties. While their thrashing sound is pro, one song kinda blended into the other. But the guys made up for it in energy- there were times I thought they might fall over from getting dizzy from thrashing around so much. My guess is that they are pretty young…the drummer in particular looked like he could be in high school! They introduced one song by saying this ‘is a song about friends’….not metal, but that’s ok. The pit started going at this point, and since I was in the balcony, I could observe the atrocious behavior. There was one guy who was such a drunken asshole I saw him get multiple pit-erventions from friends and security trying to talk sense into him. But he continued to behave like a maniac all the way up until Kylesa, when he disappeared presumably either from someone giving him a beating or from severe internal bleeding, or both.
I believe it was at this point that someone came up to me and asked me, essentially, what I was doing here. “Are you with one of the band members?”, they said, “your demeanor is very different from everyone else here”. I said, “no, I’m a writer”, to which they flatly said, “oh, cool.” Later on I realized I should have told them that my demeanor is different because I have a vagina, which was quite a unique thing in this crowd, but I always think of clever responses after the fact.
It was my second time to see Saviours, from Oakland. I still have trouble getting into them, probably because some of their songs are light on vocals. They do have some amazing guitar harmonies. The lead singer and drummer have some serious tattoos, which they show off by playing shirtless, little bellies and all.
Last time I saw Kylesa, they were opening for Mastodon, who I’m seeing tonight. I wasn’t sold on the double drummers…but this time I walked away a few steps closer to buying into it. Probably because Marshall Kilpatric from Black Light Burns is now one of the drummers, and although his maniacal drumming is somewhat of an odd fit with the rest of the band, he is badass. I love watching the guys drool over Laura Pleasants, who is one of those rare metal chicks that make me proud. She plays the guitar for real; it’s not just a prop. She maintains an aire of calm as she plays- it’s pretty intriguing.
There were a lot of Kylesa shirts in the crowd….the band is near tipping point. I do find the Kylesa fans to be an odd bunch. There aren’t just metalheads in the crowd…there are hipsters, and not hipster poseurs, either, ones that know the words. There are some straighter types too….I actually spotted a blazer. THERE ARE NO BLAZERS IN METAL!! Kylesa has some real standout songs, like ‘Unknown Awareness’ and ‘Running Red’. After a one song encore, the night wrapped up at 12am- pretty efficient for 4 metal bands. But I wasn’t complaining…I am definitely wearing myself thin with shows this week….