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Tonight: The White Mice + Wall With One Side + A Place to Bury Strangers + War Master + The Big Pink + More [4/07/2010 04:29:00 PM]:
There's actually quite a bit going on tonight, Wed., April 7th -- weirdly so for a Wednesday, really -- so I figured I'd mention a few things, in particular...

The White Mice/Useless Children/Wall With One Side/Golden Axe @ Super Happy Fun Land
This show wins prize of place in part due to the sheer weirdness factor of it all; admittedly, the noise thing isn't generally my deal (barring bands like Parts & Labor), but this is too intriguing a lineup to pass up...

Heading up the show are Rhode Islanders The White Mice, a trio of weirdbags who dress up in the scariest fucking rat costumes you're ever going to see and play thundering, pummeling, heavily electronicized squalls of noise-rock. Again, not my thing, per se, but hell, it looks like fun even still. Australia's Useless Children are less out-there, really, doing more of a Blood Brothers frantic spazz-core thing, and it's decent but not particularly mind-blowing.

Then there's the locals. First there's Lance Higdon (Golden Cities, Tambersauro, etc., etc.) in his Wall With One Side guise, making bizarrely-named, speaker-shredding, ear-crushing noisescapes out of, well, I don't exactly know what. I do know, however, that he's been working on some sort of drum-triggered laptop setup specifically for this show, so tonight's gig might be a lot more rhythm-heavy than what he typically does. Rounding it all out is Golden Axe, who're probably the real oddballs of the bill, seeing as they're fairly straightforward thrash-guitar instro-metal. And yeah, I hear their live shows are ridiculous... Should be quite a show to see.

The Big Pink/A Place to Bury Strangers @ Warehouse Live
I feel a teensy bit weird about this one, primarily because SCR writer Daniel kinda-sorta panned A Place to Bury Strangers' Exploding Head a few weeks back. And honestly, I have to say that I find myself enjoying it. Not ground-breaking, no -- the Jesus & Mary Chain did it better, certainly -- but still decent. But hey, everybody's got their own opinion, and Daniel & I can both hold ours and still be pals, right? No cage match duel in the works, I promise (because honestly, nobody wants to see that)...

I like "Smile When You Smile" quite a bit, in particular, because it seems to sort of set the feel for the whole thing -- heavily synth-y, but with plenty of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club-style guitars, Raveonettes-esque rhythms, and disaffected/detached vocals straight off your favorite Joy Division song. The band's like mid-'90s Britpop plugged into the largest amplifier ever built and broadcast out over a plain filled with warring factions of Mad Max-style renegades; despite the "distant" sound, there's a nice fire to it all.

And hey, just for the hell of it, here's a remix of APtBS's "Ego Death," from Exploding Head, for your downloading & listening pleasure. I have to admit that I prefer the original, myself, but hey, the re-do's interesting, at least:

A Place to Bury Strangers - "Ego Death (Figo Mix)"

I don't mean to give short shrift to headliners The Big Pink, mind you; just not as familiar with 'em. They range across similarly electro-fied, guitars-and-synths arena-rock terrain, but there's a much more playful, heart-pours-out thing going on, and I'm pretty impressed so far. "Dominos" is a great track, with its rock-solid drumbeat and emotive vocals, and "A Brief History of Love" shimmers and drifts wonderfully, treading close to Mojave 3 at points with the pseudo-duet male/female parts, while "Count Backwards From Ten" does cool things with feedback. Gotta hear more of that...

War Master (record release/tour kickoff)/ Mammoth Grinder/Bowel/ Nibiru/H.R.A. @ Walter's (8PM; $7)
Okay, I'll admit it: I haven't actually seen throwback metalheads War Master live and in-person, unfortunately, but I'm liking their Metallica-style thrash (which verges on old-school Prong at times, too), although I could do without the Cookie Monster vocals. Sometimes it's nice to just plant yourself in front of the speakers and bang your head to the kind of heavy-ass, palm-muted guitars you grew up listening to, y'know? The show's reportedly both the record release party and tour kickoff for the band, btw, although their tour appears to be limited to dates in San Antonio, Austin, & Ft. Worth between now and next week (they're back in town after the 10th). But hey, Texas being the size it is, that still counts as a tour...

Plus, I've been hearing good, good things about Austin-dwelling tourmates Mammoth Grinder for years now (and yeah, I actually like their vocals better). Rounding out the bill are the ambiguously-capitalized grindcore dudes of Nibiru (which includes ex-/current members of Dissent, PLF, Insect Warfare, and yes, War Master), the similarly grind-y Bowel, and old-school '80s hardcore outfit H.R.A., who I swear sound like they crawled off some old vinyl-only comp somewhere.

Robert Ellis & The Boys @ Mango's
The Wiggins/Eat Grapes/The Caprolites @ Notsuoh (8:30PM; $5)
Story of the Year/Maylene and the Sons of Disaster/After Midnight Project/Terrible Things @ Wired Live (formerly The Meridian)
Patrice Pike @ McGonigel's Mucky Duck
The Big Pink (DJ session) @ Cactus Music (7:30PM)

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