Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Channels, The Magnificent Shithawks, Bangladeafy and Dreadnought at The Fire Shot

There is something oddly liberating about having completely sold your soul to rock and roll and getting the chance to go out and do nutty stuff like house shows in Philly neighborhoods that would scare the daylights out of my mother. I mean... when you find yourself in a new house, only knowing the touring bands (And then only from the internet) you need to be ready to open yourself up and prepare to find out more. Such was the case yesterday evening as I hung out with the lads and lasses of Dreadnought and rejuvenated my soul with another soiree of gloriously heavy music in a nifty new Philadelphia art space.

First up were The Channels - the kind of band who when they get on stage seem to be really regrettable college rock and then blow you away with strangely triumphant experimental sounds. These guys pull off all sorts of nifty tricks to make for an interesting show, using all sorts of household implements (Plastic forks et al!) to get unique sounds. Largely focused around the bassists talkbox these guys put together something distinctly fun - even if it did feel a little underdeveloped at times. That being said - these guys are just starting out, there is a very real potency to what they do, and if you can dig into poignant grooves that boggle the mind, then you might be an avid member of this bands future fanbase.

Despite the late start The Magnificent Shithawks were able to bring a high energy delivery to the table. Their largely Sleep influenced sound was wonderfully groovy. Their use of two vocalists and heavy jam passages was a lot of fun to watch unfold live. It reflected the enduring power that this kind of music can have. Largely pentatonic, but still a pleasure to just feel, The Magnificent Shithawks are one of those bands that simply understand the very real power of stoner rock. It puts a smile on your face and forces you to raise the horns simply because these dudes know what's up, and when they turn on, it's time for you to tune in and drop out.

All night people had been telling me cool things about Bangladeafy yet I wasn't sure if I should set my expectations too high. Then they played their first song and I was left scraping my jaw from the floor. Featuring two of the most talented musicians I have ever seen play live, this instrumental duo has a wholly unique attack. The bands charming bassist John unleashes a largely tapped assault with his bass. Begging for more volume as he forces out otherworldly sounds in his distinct melodies and world music influenced grooves. Bangladeafy are the real fuckin' deal - unique, powerful, and ready to tear your fucking face off. If you want a band who keep it technically destructive without forgetting what makes metal fun in the first place then look no further, Bangladeafy have cracked the code.

And finally it was time for my beloved Dreadnought, on tour all the way from Colorado and now here to play in front of a few dozen DIY devotees. Using a variety of woodwinds and keyboards alongsides more traditional metal instruments this band lived up to the hype. I'd fallen in love with their latest full length Bridging Realms when it was sent to me a few months ago - but now I'm even more enamored with the band. Their live delivery is flawless and I have to wonder what they would sound like in a more professional context. That being said, they performed admirably, the twin female vocal harmonies landing perfectly every time and leaving the audience in total awe, with more than a few attendees wiping away tears by the end of the set. These guys are wholly on point, the prog passages are executed brilliantly and then when the darker moments take control they manage to dominate the room and take on a strange fifth element, reflecting the incredible darkness that they have been able to harness.

So ended another fun night in the Philthadelphia punk house scene - perhaps my last for a good long while. And yet I could not have anticipated a better send off. All four bands opened my mind and left me curious for more. And now I know that my initial instincts were right, Dreadnought is hands down the best new heavy band of the year - both live and on the record.  On top of that Bangladeafy are clearly breaking the bounds of modern metal, and you need to check them out. If you're not ready to jump on the train, for either of those bands... leave the hall.

Find the bands on Facebook and Bandcamp!

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