Monday, March 30, 2009

Sonorous Gale Record Release Show

On March 21st Alicia and I ventured out to see Sonorous Gale play at Soundlab. I've seen them play several times before, they're one of my favorite local bands, with only the mighty Jack Topht above them. Their sound is one of thunderous bass and distortion, with heavy vocals over on alternately frantic riffs and painfully slow metal dirges. For a duo of a bassist/vocalist and drummer, they make one hell of a racket. Tonight was special because it was their album release party, so I could FINALLY get their songs in a form that could be listened to in the comfort of my own home.

The opening band was a guy with a huge beard playing soft songs on an acoustic guitar. That's really all I can was some harmless forgettable folk music with a twist of uppity poet. The second act was a comedian, who despite trying his best, fell a bit flat with most of his set. I give him major credit for giving it a shot though, plus there was a small group of people that were enjoying it and chuckling along, so there you go.

Sonorous Gale was great, as always. They played their familiar set of songs, many of which I know pretty well after having seen them several times. Midway through the set they were joined by local female vocalist Cages, who I've often described as sounding a bit like Bjork having a mental breakdown/total freakout on stage. (That's meant as a major compliment, she's awesome.) She was a lot of fun to watch during their cover of "Army of Me" (validating my Bjork comparisons)as she writhed and convulsed to the music while belting out the vocals in her unique, tortured style.

Sonorous Gale with Cages

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

AIDS Wolf at Soundlab

I missed them the last time they stopped in Buffalo, so I made sure to make my way out to Soundlab on March 8th to see AIDS Wolf. I was worried I'd be late, but when I arrived at 11 it was just in time to catch the end of the opening act, US Girls. Kind of like my noise moniker, this was a plural name representing one person.

The audience of roughly fifteen people stood around the front of the stage intently watching a shorthaired girl with massive hipster glasses and an over sized orange winter jacket as she hunched over an array of distortion pedals and sound gear. She would occasionally sing long, droning notes into a mic that would altering her voice while a wall of noise fought with looping guitar and piano samples. At first listen it sounded completely random, but soon I noticed the structure of the songs as she changed the loops and manipulated the gradually shifting tones being produced by her voice and equipment. It was pretty good stuff, right down my alley. I picked up her CD-R at the end of the show, mostly because I just like supporting artists that do this kind of thing...especially since I'm kind of attempting to make a name for myself by doing something very similar.

AIDS Wolf came out and proceeded to rock the house, decked in their matching brown shirts and slacks that resembled a repairman's uniform with a touch of the Ghostbuster getup. The lead singer, Claudia Deluxx, was decked out in a powerfully gaudy gem sweater and a flowing fluorescent green cape. The busted right into things, and played straight through their set, pausing only briefly between songs before exploding into the next one.

Their sound is an unclassifiable one...but I'm going to try anyway. If you take the ferocity of grind core, cross breed it with the focused and ungodly complicated atonal riffs of math metal, then blend the whole thing with a healthy dose of improvisational noise, you get pretty close to their sound. Throw in some warbling, indistinguishable vocals that sound like an oceanic siren having an aneurysm and you've got AIDS Wolf. To many, this is not something you'd listen to voluntarily. To me and the small group at Soundlab, it was a great show. It wasn't even the noisiest or harshest band performance I've seen, and I have to admit I was a tiny bit disappointed...I was expecting to be blown away by their insanity, yet they were a bit tamer than I had imagined.

AIDS Wolf 1

AIDS Wolf 5

It was interesting to watch the dual guitarists (the band has no bassist, two guitars plus drums and vocals) as they shredded away. The drummer was awesome, and as far as I've witnessed only Melt Banana's drummer rivals the intensity and speed that this guy had. They all had a very technical precision to their playing that resulted in the most discordant sound possible, just one of the reasons I admire them. The lead singer spent most of the show wandering through the audience as if entranced by her own howling, bumping into individuals and flailing in slow motion. With her hooded cape it almost looked like she was casting a long, complicated spell, as she waved her arms mysteriously and stared intently into the distance. Along with old school Boredoms (back when they were a straightup noise rock band) these guys are a favorite when it comes to ridiculous, noisy fun. I resisted the urge to buy any vinyl this time, but I did grab a $1 button. It's silver and black, with a drawing of a nerdy R.Crumb looking guy in thick glasses giving an unenthusiastic thumbs up. It's kind of awesome.

AIDS Wolf 2

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Good times.

Tonight I had bubblegum ice cream. For dinner. FUCK yeah.