Thursday, March 08, 2007

Battle Recap

Well, I'm only judging half of the qualifying rounds at The Space's Battle of the Bands IV, but you can expect recaps of the ones I do attend on here the day after. So, here we go ....

Last night saw a whole lot of metal, so a whole lot of crap. Besides a few significant outliers, metal these days is just pathetically generic and derivative. It's like the only thing bands are trying to say is: "Look, we can play loud and scream in a dumb voice. You can't even tell if we're playing chords or riffs! Woo-hoo!" Anyway, because of this, most of the bands last night were lacking.

The evening began with Chiasmus, a very young foursome that showed some potential. Buried underneath a metal sludge, there were some songs. The guys wanted to be old Metallica, but that'll take a few years. Chiasmus won the audience award, so we'll see them in the semi-finals. As my fellow judge, Tommy Lee (not that one), said about this guys, "What do kids so young have to be so angry about?"

Next up was The 809 State, a band from New Haven and the only non-hard-rock act of the night. I had seen these guys at Cafe Nine a few weeks ago and thought its brand of pop-garage was pretty good. And, you know, the songs were OK last night. A couple of them were better than that. The real problem with this quartet was how off the rhythm section would get during almost every song. The main culprit was the bassist, who must think he's in a Red Hot Chili Peppers cover band. The sheer amount of overplaying, which led to him totally messing up the tempo, was amazing. If he played a whole note every so often, this could have been good. My other problem with this band? The lead guitarist looks so damn familiar; it's killing me.

Wowee, zowee, then came A Perfect Honesty, a brutal group from Newington. I'm not even sure where Newington is, but there must be something in the water making these guys so upset. Maybe if I was a REAL metal fan, I'd have a different opinion, but this band was a stereotype. Everything it played, I've heard 2,453 other bands perform. The same songs. It was so generic. That's it.

The Return to Plague thy Inventor definitely would have won the best-name award, but the group's tunes were way too odd for me ... and I love odd music. This was tuneless oddity, though. Most of the songs were OK, but they weren't songs, rather little sketches. These guys are young though, so there's potential to be a really decent band, when they realize screaming as loud as possible isn't a good idea. Sing, damn it, sing. Another Newington band, too. I will never have a drink if I ever find this mystical land of Newington.

And then came the judges' winner, Fearless. The Bristol-based quartet won easily, but it was so not special. The band was tight, the tunes had melodies and the stage presence was good. The problem? Fearless sounds like Nickelback. That's not good.

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