Metal Night at the Mousetrap Part 2: Mousetrapped
Proving that last November wasn’t a freak alignment of dead stars, metal night returned to the Mousetrap last weekend. My friend Nesbit and I braved stiff winds and stiffer drinks to witness. Opening act Purge the Woods, from EC, was truly impressive. My awareness of the band, I confess, had been no deeper than its nomenclature, but according to sources close to Purge the Woods (read: the band), that was probably a good thing. However, based on Saturday’s performance, all dull edges have been suitably sharpened since the band’s inception. Vocalist Andy struggled a bit with the high end of his screeching, but the guttural bellows were utterly convincing. Their (new) drummer Brett was seemingly hydra-handed, perfectly in synch with Zak (guitar) and Bones (bass), two of the nicest guys in the scene by the way. Sheesh, kids these days. When did they get so good at playing their instruments? Growing up as I did on the sounds of Repulsion, early Napalm Death and early Carcass, and Old Lady Drivers, grindcore was a sloppy business. Though no doubt informed by said bands, Purge the Woods channels the technical ferocity of current grinders like Origin and Pig Destroyer. With a demo on the horizon, I predict big things for these boys.
Two things I have to get out of the way regarding Minneapolis' Thrash Compactor: 1) You do not name your band Thrash Compactor; and 2) If you do name your band Thrash Compactor, you should actually thrash at some point. I’m part of the old guard; you start bandying the word “thrash” around and I’m thinking 1988 when I was listening to Testament and Death Angel on steady rotation. Ok, minor gripes aside, the band played solid, blistering hardcore. The vocalist got right in the audience for the set’s duration, jabbing a few fingers into obnoxious crowd members. Plus, they count (ex-) members of the godly In Defence in their ranks. Great performance guys, just change that name.
Intermission: The “Whoops, wrong night” award goes to the gaggle of people who wandered in wearing North Face clothing and dangling designer bags from their arms.
Eau Claire's Desolatevoid headlined (again) and reaffirmed the adage of leave ‘em wanting more. In a set over more quickly than a Republican “nay” on health care, Desolatevoid stomped their way through “classic” cuts from both long players, while providing a teaser for the epic three way-split, with Appleton’s The Parish and South Carolina’s The Last Van Zant, out late March. The band sounds absolutely feral right now, truly the bleakest light in our cold constellation.