Coming Up: Co-Pilot Leads an Atmospheric, Heavy Blowout, This Saturday
Another extremely cool thing schedule for this Saturday, August 6th — Co-Pilot guitarist Brandon Lemons has put together an awesome, awesome show over at The Mink, showcasing his own band and more than a half-dozen similarly atmospheric, moody, yet still heavy-as-fuck bands from here and elsewhere. He was calling it “Sickle of Leaves” for a while there, but it looks like that’s since fallen by the wayside; eh, whatever the name, it looks damn good.
Showgoers and readers of the site might remember the last one of these kinds of shows Lemons threw at his little home-away-from home in Midtown; yours truly went and had a complete blast, so I’ve got pretty high hopes for this go-round, too.
As with that show, Co-Pilot themselves are the absolute biggest draw for me, to be sure — I’ve been a fan for several years now and have been happily surprised to watch them morph from a relatively mellow, dreampop-y spacerock band into something that’s closer to some kind of epic, massive, fists-raised metal that thunders and roars and is heartcrushingly beautiful all at once.
Last fall’s The Course of Empire is still one of the best instrumental albums I’ve heard in the last half-decade or so, and to my mind it beats out anything I’ve heard by Red Sparowes, Pelican, or any of a dozen also-rans in the same vein. I’m still not sure how they did it, but it’s freaking amazing to see and hear.
Oh, and I almost forgot — you can now download all of the songs from Empire for free from the band’s newly-redesigned Website (new design courtesy of Ben Godfrey of listenlisten, apparently). Head on over there and listen for yourself…
For this show, Lemons and his Co-Pilot bandmates seem to’ve decided to go for bands that kind of tread the same general ground. Not everybody does the same thing, of course, but they’re all closer kin than some of the “Metal at The Mink” bands were, definitely.
Austinites The Calm Blue Sea get pretty prominent billing, and after listening to ‘em some, it’s easy to see why; like Co-Pilot, they harness soaring guitars to crushing, barbarian-armies-marching rhythms and a deeply melancholy vibe to craft some truly memorable atmo-metal of their own. I’ll be needing to listen to these guys again, I think.
Fellow Austin-dwellers The Clouds Are Ghosts shift things somewhat, holding tight to the drifting/swirling guitars but marrying ‘em to more electronicized beats and intense, dramatic vocals that make me think of The Manichean’s Cory Sinclair more than anything else. It’s neat stuff, a nice switch while staying true to the seeming “theme” of the night.
With H-town boys Defending the Kingdom, it’s back to the metal, this time diving deeper into the realm of ISIS and Neurosis for a heavy, spine-shattering sound that meanders slowly along, spinning out oblique, murky tales of hidden machines and forgotten conflicts as they go. I saw both DtK and the un-Googleable Odessa at Metal at The Mink and liked ‘em both quite a bit, although Odessa’s hypnotically trance-inducing drone-metal was so goddamn loud it made me feel like my head was about to collapse under the weight of the sound. (Just an FYI, there…)
Then there’s Peloton, who’s debut EP I reviewed recently and was damn impressed by. They were a three-piece all-instrumental band then, but nowadays they’ve got a singer, Denniz Trauma (ex-Fight Pretty), which should do some interesting things to their sludgy, mathy brand of metal. From , there’s much more of a resemblance to The Jesus Lizard or local legends the Fatal Flying Guilloteens, but hey, neither of those are bad bands to be compared to, in my book.
The last band of the bunch, Sleeping Ancient, appear to be relatively new in town — at least, I’d never heard of ‘em ’til recently — but the music they’ve got online so far is pretty promising, slow-moving and doom-y with an eerily “Eastern” tone to it. I’m liking it so far…
Seriously, all of the bands playing are well, well worth checking out; Brandon’s picked a pretty great lineup here. And for all that, $10 seems like a bargain. Plus, there’ll be door prizes courtesy of Cactus, and the Taquera La Luz food truck lurking outside. The show starts at 6PM, both upstairs & down in The Mink’s “Backroom” area — make yr plans now.