Live: Deafheaven

Tuesday night saw the return of Red Bull Sound Selects show here in Portland. This show was not for the faint of heart, featuring a lineup of metal music. The first act was local Portlanders, Usnea, who’s latest album Random Cosmic Violence just came out last month. Their style is super sludgey and doomy.

Usnea

Next was Seattle band, Lesbian. These guys have a similar style to Usnea, just more high energy and on the side black metal. They played a bunch of new material, which sounded really fresh and loud.

Lesbian

The headliner for the show was Deafheaven. We had their album Sunbather as number two in our Top 50 Albums of 2013. The live performance was riveting and intense. The lead singer is very intimate with the audience and really gets caught in the music. It was a fantastic show.

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Deafheaven2
All photos by Aaron Rogosin

Live: Russian Circles + Witch Mountain

The first Tuesday of the month is when Red Bull Sound Select Portland takes over Mississippi Studios to bring some of the best underground artists around. This show featured Russian Circles from Chicago along with local Portland bands, Gaytheist and Witch Mountain. We were particularly excited for this performance, since it was the first metal show that Red Bull has put on in our lovely city.

First to play was Gaytheist, a budding speed metal band that has been putting out nothing but gold. Their latest release is a live album from Banana Stand Media.

Gaytheist
Photo Credit: Aaron Rogosin

After Gaytheist came Witch Mountain. Another local metal band, yet where Gaytheist is more speed, Witch Mountain is more doomy and stoney. They put on a fantastic show. The lead singer captivated the audience with her golden pipes.

Witch Mountain
Photo Credit: Aaron Rogosin

Last up was Russian Circles. If you haven’t heard of these guys then open up your earholes. Definitely one of the hardest post-rock bands that is in existence today. Their latest album, Memorial was one of our favorite albums last year. So listen to it.

Russian Circles
Photo Credit: Aaron Rogosin

Treefort Music Fest Day 1

March 20th 2014 marked the start of an epic journey to consume as much live music as humanly possible in one weekend. Treefort Music Fest in Boise, ID provided the perfect hunting grounds for the Killing Sasquatch crew. The journey consisted of four days full of rock, pop, electronic, metal, hip-hop, house parties, garage shows, and brewery showcases. So without further delay here is our coverage of Day 1, Treefort Music Fest.

KING BRAT
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If there’s one excuse to get out of Portland, Treefort is it. It all starts with King Brat, featuring Jessica the drummer from Red Hands Black Feet. These guys have a saturated crossover of hardcore and rock and roll. The kind that spawns mosh pits from thin air.


The KITCHEN
The Kitchen 1
We ducked over to the recently augmented Crux to see The Kitchen, some really weird but beautiful and sincere experimental rock from Moscow. The live set packs a different punch than the records, so make sure to check this band of best friends and artists whenever they’re in town.


AND AND AND
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After some delicious Pie Hole pizza we popped over to Neurolux to see And And And play some new songs. This material sounded more serious and intense than some of their more light-hearted favorites. It’s still a huge party, so these sophisticated considerations suit their music well.

RED HANDS BLACK FEET

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After seeing And And And, we headed over to Linen Building to catch our favorite Boise bands, Red Hands Black Feet. They played a bunch of new songs with their new drummer, and it sounds most excellent. This post-rock band seriously hits the spot and we cannot wait for new material to be released.


ANIMAL EYES
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Back over at Crux, our buddies Animal Eyes began pumping their joyous tunage into the room. Lead accordionist Sam sings with classic style and the band elevates the festive jangly mood. Animal Eyes is easily one of Portland’s premier rock acts.


THIS WILL DESTROY YOU
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This Will Destroy You is from the old school of post-rock, loosely associated with Godspeed You Black Emperor, the sound is heavy and slow. Live they play with conviction. The audience stares blankly as their minds are transported.


SWORD OF A BAD SPELLER
Finally we saw Sword of a Bad Speller who are at first a couple of white kids rapping badly. It quickly reached the point of absurdity, so there’s no choice but to get into it. They eventually pick up instruments and closed out a fun impromptu afterparty.

Top 50 Albums of 2013 Part 2: Rock ‘n’ Roll/Misc

Here is the rest of our favorite albums of the year. The miscellaneous category covers anything from metal music to hip-hop to music that is hard to categorize. We will release our rankings in the next couple of days.

65daysofstatic – Wild Light

Blouse – Imperium

Danny Brown – Old

Deafheaven – Sunbather

Dustin Wong – Mediation of Ecstatic Energy

Earl Sweatshirt – Doris

The Flaming Lips – The Terror / Peace Sword EP

Forest Swords – Engravings

Gayze – Black Soul

Genders – Get Lost

The Ghost Ease – The Ghost Ease

Hooded Fang – Gravez

Lilacs & Champagne – Danish & Blue

Pelican – Forever Becoming

Pond – Hobo Rocket

Pony Time – Go Find Your Own

Rose Windows – The Sun Dogs

Russian Circles – Memorials

Summer Cannibals – No Makeup

Sun Angle – Diamond Junk

Thee Oh Sees – Floating Coffin

WL – Hold

Pelican

The brand new album from Pelican is everything that you would want from an instrumental metal band. These guys from Chicago know how to blend a perfect metal/post-rock/punk sound to make an elegant music smoothie. The first several tracks are so sludgey and stonery and complete with great break downs and build ups. Then about mid-way through “Immutable Dusk” comes a very beautiful soft guitar build up through the heavy bass line. This album should be recognized as one of the best ones released this year so far and has certainly jumped towards the top of my list. Check out the song “Vestiges” as well.