On Friday, September 20 Red Moth Records took over Blind Bob’s for an evening of nightmarish stylistic mental flossed loud metal, some heavily metaled influenced hard rock and some unique 70’s rock throwback instrumentals. Red Moth mates I Died Trying, Mangrenade, Bearer of Bad News and head honcho Close the Hatch played an entertaining bill of uniquely diversified sound along with Kentucky’s Bad People.
Dayton’s answer to the sound of a mental ward’s subconscious I Died Trying opened the rainy night with two songs, rapturous in sound and nearly impossible for the brain to decipher on first listen. Eerie guitar suspense sends us traveling down an old west road as the sun sets as the strings fight each other to the death and the weather beaten outlaw stands in the dirt ready to kill. Hell’s intercom opens for a three way conference call electric screamfest. Tony Goff’s guitar proves instruments can have souls, playing music to satisfy every personality a person could have. Napalm Death meets Nile with NIN and Godflesh in a barroom brawl adding moments of unnerving tranquility to pleasant insanity. The music’s a challenge for the mind’s ear to interpret but less difficult than trying to make sense of the mind in Goff’s bald, bandana wrapped head. These are The Things We Think and Do Not Say.
Swallowing Swords has a jazzy beginning with Goff playing violin, opening with those creepy insomniac eyelid chords as the mind walks a tight rope between skyscrapers with no balance beam, finishing with some bizarre hooks of 80’s guitar solos. IDT is like punching someone in the face full force with your brain, putting it back in and closing with a bad sewing job.
From Lexington comes the multigenerational influenced loose morals of Bad People, who almost didn’t make it due to mother’s nature’s pissy mood, but nothing stops a dedicated band from a gig. The instrumental foursome took turns giving audience face time playing high energy, solid blues, modern progressive rock with a jam band feel and solid song structure. HQ 1 has a happy jump up and down good hearted feel. Tool meets Sabbath then Soundgarden in the classic 70’s rock arena, keeping the pedals busy with a hard snarled note swagger. They play the majority of their upcoming CD (to be released in October), finishing with HQ 2 blending elements of 60’s psychedelica with Rush and a more technical take on Opeth with some space age rocket ship trip blasting effects from the machines.
Cincinnati drunk rock Mangrenade is as metal as it sounds…for a band that doesn’t play it. They’re a selective punk pastry with influences from Lenny Kravitz to Sabbath with some Rage Against the Machine/Alice in Chains experimentation. Playing three cuts off their newest EP Lions in the Parking Lot and two from January’s More Than A Handful EP. Godless Heathen has the guitar driven Kravitz rock groove. Where Swagger Turns to Stagger is an inebriated dirty street chugger played to collapse with an early Sabbath guitar sound all over the pile of discarded bottles. There’s some peppered C.O.C. in Deep Cut’s Soundgarden of 70’s sound. I’m the One carries some Cobain like shrieking with its rockabilly punk Henry Rollins angry rebellion attitude, taking a breather half through to calm down. Lions in the Parking Lot roar with a Misfits charm, bass groove and whisky wailed vocals. Bassist Ben Morgan is a short haired Steve Vai with glasses. They also might be the first band to inspire an interpretive dance pit on hardwood as select patrons performed gymnastics, ballet moves, summer salts and breakdancing during the set.
From the spawn left from the urban decay and industrial rot inhabiting downtown Dayton cometh Bearer of Bad News. Covered in diesel, dust and blood red tattoo ink they create raw, abrasive, angry and loud sounds because this is the life they live and the music that’s inspired them. Their sound mutated from the likes of Motorhead and Biohazard with some Chrome Division exhaust inhaled a bit later. On video Brian Brenner’s rasping deep tirades take the form of a muffled straightforward Glen Danzig, live Evan Seinfeld, Cronos, Udo Dirkschneider and Dez Fafara take ripping hold of his vocal chords.
The basement door closes as the muffed sounds of what’s never talked about is heard from the basement as Black Top Blues starts shoveling basement backroom dirt in your ear and some hard gravel embedded guitar chords down your throat. Don’t look in the corner.
Like the Priest’s slowly deliberate bass pace gives the pit brethren a pit break. The Blame Game blends the Cavalera Conspiracy with some railroad power chords and chain-gang riffs. Bearer of Bad News carries a hard glove studded wallop and strong underground sound (some of their videos are shot in claustrophobic unfriendly basements). 2012’s Triple Homicide and Involuntary Manslaughter EP’s are available on iTunes or at shows.
Red Moth Records artists and founders Close The Hatch came on to deliver the evening’s final abrasive set of cathartic musical misanthropy. Guitars, keyboards, drums and a keytar (yep) bring this moody, broken glass menagerie of concocted sound and abysmal bliss to fruition. Their sound carries that feeling of dark trapped ecstasy right before your face gets ripped off by Cenobite hooks.
A sadists pleasure of growled vocals and face stretching sound of metaphorical noise. Songs about dark dreamscapes in the mind and the last remaining fragments right before waking. Kali starts, going back and forth with its brain erasing sound erosion quickly changing to kinder more gentle chords before repeating a few times. Beyond the Wolves starts with a creepy dripping cave dance along dark buried walls. Right before the stalking intruder meets the fire red narrowed eyes of his demise. Stephen Barton growls out the beast’s fury as he plays chase on guitar. People have been known to slam-dance into walls at their shows, and themselves. There’s also some surprise classical music played against hell’s roaring guitar choir. The closing 11 minute Wolves plays some clanking off notes reminding you of the sound the wind makes when hitting old strung bottles and cans outside that forgotten cabin no one should go to. We get into sludgier sound as the warned visitor opens the rotted cellar door descending into the bad, dark memories that wait around the corner. Close the Hatch resembles a chainsaw turning on in the brain.