Friday, August 27, 2010

Composted with Dysentery, Rampant Decay, Maggot Brain, and Intheshit [O'Brien's, Allston, 7/30/2010]

This was the last chance that Boston would have to give me stuff to take over, so fortunately, I had time to get home, change out of my work pants, and equip the battleshorts I'd be going overseas in before I went in. Between these and my warm-weather vest, I had, narrowly, enough capacity to carry everything back home with. This is a good problem to have; pocket space stretched to the limits means that a lot of stuff is crossing the ocean.

I got down, even so, a little early, which was good; time to drink, hang about, talk for a bit with Scott from Deathamphetamine after picking up his 10 promos, drink more, and pick up 20 sleeve-packed copies of Black Thrash Ritual from Hräsvelg. As will be noted in the still-under-construction tour report, all of these eventually found their way into metalhead hands on the other side of the Atlantic.

Intheshit [5/7]
The only real complaint that anyone rational could have about this set was that it was too short. Short sets are a fact of life in the DIY world, especially on five-band shows in a city that has a (stupidly early) had curfew, but this was really on the bleeding edge even of that, probably because Alex (Nachzehrer, 26 Beers) had been pulled in on drums on really short notice and hadn't gotten time to learn any more than what was played. However, since Intheshit is a grind band, and a really pure one at that, we got a good number of songs (being, true to form, fast and short) and a decent amount of material all told. From that point of view, this was what a grind set should be: aggressive, direct, to the point, and never dragging. From another view, this was about 50-75% of what a grind set should be, since it seemed like they only played for about 10 minutes when 15 or 20 of this style would still have felt as fresh and as raw.

After the set, I went to see if I could pick something up from the band; I didn't end up with an Intheshit demo, but Dawn did give me a large envelope full of Dead Languages stuff to lug over, which initially was a problem; this early on, something like that is a little unwieldy to be holding onto. Fortunately, I was in my warm-weather vest, which has a back pouch for a trauma plate that I didn't sew shut while applying either backpatch that I've used on that rig. Envelope issue solved with room to spare. Around this time, I also got about 10 limited-edition PanzerBastard promos from Andrew, with instructions to distribute them only to the hardest and the truest, which I'm pretty sure I did. As with the CDs mentioned above, all of this stuff got distributed as well.

Maggot Brain [5.5/7]
Coming out of New York, I hadn't heard these guys before and didn't have much in the way of expectations; what we got was a good, solid set of doom/grind balanced more towards the doom side while remaining raw. The slower parts wore on a little; personally, I preferred the breaks where they cranked up the speed and blast intensity, but any way you slice it, the music on offer was still good stuff.

On one level, it's still kind of weird for a touring band to go on second. On the more comprehensive level, though, this is where they fit best into the bill soundwise, and basically everyone who came out to the show saw them, and they didn't have to worry about cleaning up the stage after Composted.

Rampant Decay [5.5/7]
In comparison to last year, or on CD, they sounded a little grindier and a little more black metal (welcome to Boston, where these concepts are on the same axis, rather than opposed) without a bassist, but kicked out a class set of pure Drunk Edge. Their material's the same material, "Cocaine Frenzy" still gets people flying around, and Rich remains one of the funniest motherfuckers in Boston.

Following their set, I picked up a shirt that would end up doing yeoman service over the first four days overseas, and also a bunch of stickers and buttons. The stickers all went, and because I was clever about how I did it, most of the buttons went out too.

Dysentery [6.5/7]
Wow. Just wow. This set did trail off a little at the end, but it finished nearly as well as it started -- how good would this have been overall if Will didn't have strep? Brushing illness to the side, Dysentery powered through an intense set of crushing death metal; the new -- as yet unrecorded/unreleased -- songs that they rolled out didn't have as many 'breakdowns' as the older material, but they definitely aren't short in either the slam or general brutality departments. The crowd was in pretty good form as well, though not as riotous as things would get for Composted; maybe holding their energy in reserve, maybe nervous about picking up a bronchial infection. Whatever the circumstances, this was a hell of a performance, and I'm eagerly anticipating the next time that Dysentery puts out something recorded.

Composted [6/7]
Composted's set was much like the last time (as might be expected when the band doesn't have a lot of brainstorming time to come up with new antics), but.....breadier. Several loaves' worth of Wonder Bread got aired out within the first song, and after the bread stopped being in pieces large enough to throw at people, or into the ceiling fan, it stuck around in the form of pieces small enough to get stuck in your boot treads, which is not what "waffle stomper" refers to, but with this band, you kind of had to figure that it would end up with that meaning eventually. While the air was being filled with carbohydrates and male blowup dolls, Composted continued right along smashing out the slams; the older stuff, still killer, and the new stuff measuring up equally well. The new one from these guys may not have been out yet -- and I may not have been able to find them cheap vuvuzelas in the Berlin discount store, which is also a shame -- but it's definitely something to look forward to.

Finally, though, things closed up, and the management threw people out due to the Boston curfew and because there was seriously mashed bread all over the fucking place. I hit the road posthaste; I had the better part of 50 CDs to move and pack, and a flight to catch the next day. This ofcourse is going to be detailed in the tour report -- which is actually upcoming, and some of it, at least, will be done by the end of the long weekend.

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