Monday, February 26, 2018

Destination: Darkness... Chasms Live

24 FEBRUARY, 2018

When I first met the ladies of Chasms, (was it really five years ago?), they charmingly self-referenced as "The 2nd Loudest Band In San Francisco". Witnessing their live shows, it was apparent that we were a long way from Baltimore, and charm was decidedly off menu. Concocting a stew of feedack and beat-driven dirges, their starting point was Out, and then they went further. A connection with Felte Records yielded their most recent work, 2016's On The Legs Of Love Purified, and that relationship looks set to continue as they embark on recording a new LP. 

Our treat this evening was a first visit to Zebulon, a delightful hideaway in the stern shadow of nearby I-5. The back room dance floor easily converted into a cozy dark cave, purpose-fit for the night. The band recently marked a year in their new home of LA, and refinement was the key takeaway, performance-wise. While they've evolved sonically, the focus remains on trance-like excursions, but the journeys into darkness now heads toward cathartic resolutions, with an emphasis on redemption. The emotional vein that they tap into renders their work a breathing soundtrack to this listener, and years down the road now, Chasms continue to grow and inspire.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Three The Hard Way...

16 FEBRUARY, 2018

First show of the new year kicked things off in a grand way, taking it down to LA to check out the Lodge Room. For a small space, it had an inviting openness and Glasgow's Spook School wasted no time in pushing the sonic limits, kicking off with a full throttle "Still Alive" from their latest LP. 

Great Grandpa (Seattle) came up next, dialing up the material from their debut EP and last year's full length to staggering dimensions. The one shot represented here reflects on camera difficulties, not the band, and the beauty of the night, presented by Sid The Cat, is that all of these bands are worth catching on their own. 

Diet Cig, (New Paltz, NY), expanded beyond core duo Alex and Noah to include a keyboardist and Spook School's bassist, reinforcing the family feeling of the tour. From my vantage point up front, despite the colossal energy release, the show met Alex's professed desire for a safe space, and hopefully benchmarks a standard for all gigs, from DIY on up the food chain.