The Know is very conducive to fucking awesome under the radar shows. Earlier this month Bottom Feeder flew in from Denmark to destroy The Know’s humble stage on Alberta street. Later, Sauna and Bad Weather California traveled from Denver to do their own serious damage to the same stage. They snagged Sun Angle to head such a show, and the result was a groundshaking festival of rock.
Unfortunately The Know is not conducive to good photography on the fly, but we enjoyed ourselves anyway. Sauna reminds us of how much we love Denver music. Sauna teems with idealism, yet rigidly adheres to the cold concrete realism of dessert life. To the rest of the US, Colorado sort of still represents the Wild West, a place where pot is legal and you can just be a ski bum if you wanna. This is manifest in the righteously surfy tunes of Sauna, whose magnitude in live performance is unmatched by really anyone. I’m tearing up here just thinking about it.
Next is Bad Weather California, whose Treefort performance rocked our unsuspecting bare feet off. We’re not really sure about why such a carefree beachy Cali sounds keeps eminating from Colorado, but truly believe it has something to do with the pot. Bad Weather California combines sincerity and irony in their music. Like their state is scattered with prairies, hills and mountain cliffs, so is Bad Weather California’s shit, imbued with the possibilities of the wide open spaces of the Great Basin. Garage, Rolling Stones, surf, and futuristic pop come through strong in this one. Oh yeah, did we mention they played with Meat Puppets?
Before the neighbors get pissed off, Sun Angle busts out their gig. Although it’s something you’ve dealt with before, you can never quite be ready for Sun Angle live. Every track off their album Diamond Junk is beautifully scatterbrained like your favorite awesome science teacher, who was also sorta creepy. Words don’t describe Sun Angle. Only Sun Angle desicribes Sun Angle, so have a listen when you can. Enjoy the transcendent photo below.
If you enjoy metal for breakfast (lunch, and dinner, and drunkfood..), then feed yourself some of this: Bottom Feeder. Recently released is their debut LP “Grinding Teeth,” of which you can get a gritty first listen below. The brainchild of Danish rocker Nikolaj Jakobsen, Bottom Feeder is just the tip of the iceberg from Jakobsen’s Raw Birth Records and the righteous Copenhagen sludge metal scene. They opened up this years’ second annual Heavy Days in Doomtown festival which happened in May. It is a monstrous underground DIY niche festival with top quality international artists, centered around a particular town’s ability to act as a hub for a particular region’s sound, strangely similar to Boise’s Treefort Music Fest. Click here for more awesome Northern European metal bands from Heavy Days in Doomtown 2013.
With hounding effects running along rhythmic stampedes of shredding guitarwork, this stuff gets me excited about sludge metal all over again. A deadly combination of meticulous technical accomplishments and dark visionary leaves your eardrums wrecked in the best way. If you’ve been looking for something heavy, groovy, and strangely fascinating, then Bottom Feeder is your jam.
Slowing it down, Mournful Congregation slowly bubbles with fetid atmosphere like a pool of sulfuric sludge belching from the belly of the earth. These morbid horsemen of the apocalypse howl into deep caverns of reverb and exhume their crushing riffs from the dirt. From Australia, they actually made an appearance at Heavy Days in Doomtown 2013, and embody this re-examination of the possibilities of drone, sludge, and doom. Descend into your dark space below.
Today sees the release of a lot of good records, none more prominent than Pond’s second album Hobo Rocket. The “side project” of Tame Impala, this Australian band has so many groovy tunes packed onto one tiny album. Hobo Rocket has such a great classic rock and roll sound, yet they have really original ways of presenting that classic sound. Pond is able to mix and blend all types of psychedelic music in the last 50 years and put into a poppy, highly listenable modern type of sound. This album is one of my favorites so far this year, so listen to “Xanman” and “Giant Tortoise.”
Another new album from a local Portland band, this one is from Summer Cannibals. Their debut album is called No Makeup. Summer Cannibals has a huge punk-pop garage rock sound that translates from their hot live show to the album. Their music has huge crunchy bass lines and great guitar riffs, but the main focus is on the lead female vocals. They are quickly becoming one of my favorite local bands here. Check out “Wear Me Out,” it’s one of my favorites.