USA

End Of A Year – You Are Beneath Me

There’s nothing easy about the album; no chant-along moments that incite crowds and establish instant followers. Everything with this affair is begrudging and hard-won on both sides of the band/listener relationship. Yet those who stick around long enough will realize that sometimes it’s those things we fight hardest for which wind up being the most enduring. To that extent, You Are Beneath Me is case in point.

Melvins/ Totimoshi @ Rickshaw Theater, Vancouver BC, July 5, 2010

“Having seen the Melvins in previous three-piece variants over the years, this was my very-excited first time seeing this four-on-the-floor version that includes the Big Business guys, even though the band’s been touring in this incarnation since 2006. First, the stage set-up is key: Looking like one monstrous kit, the twin drumsets are dead center of the stage mirroring each other as centerpiece of the show. Yes, everybody is situated right up front and gets to act as frontman-in-his-own-right in Melvins Mark, what is it, now, Eight?”

Kyle Harcott reviews the July 5th show Vancouver performance by the Melvins and Totimoshi.

Charred Walls of the Damned/ Piledriver/ Ash Lee Blade @ The Opera House, Toronto ON July 4, 2010

The awkwardly-named Charred Walls of the Damned delivered a solid headlining performance. While the other bands they shared the stage with has set a decidedly un-serious precedent, CWotD were much more straightforward and earnest in their presentation. Not to say that they were stuffy or stoic. They play unabashedly entertaining power/thrash metal, but choose not to caricature themselves to the point of complete cartoonification.

Racebannon – Wrap The Body

Wrap the Body is a neat little experiment, but is likely only bound to be wholly accepted and tolerated by Racebannon die-hards, masochistic punishment gluttons and maybe even the occasional DJ. It’s probably a good thing that only 500 of these have been pressed.

Pelican – What We All Come To Need

What We All Come To Need isn’t new news by this point, but it’s a real recommend for anyone looking for a heavy album that trims away most of the muscular excesses of progressive and noise metal while still that retaining their heavy-hitting skeletons.

Inter Arma – Sundown

Gather ‘round, ye of the underground, for here is a band of Richmond dudes who combine touches of all manner of metal, from doom and thrash to black and traditional to sludge and psychedelic, and do so with a gritty, dirt-under-the-working-man’s-fingernails sound lacking show and polish

Danzig – Deth Red Sabaoth

Sure, it’ll be a frosty day in Danzig’s nether lair before you’ll ever see a reunion of the band’s classic lineup – but until Lodi finally freezes over, you can certainly find solace in Deth Red Sabaoth, which goes a long, long way to recapturing that classic Danzig sound.