CARDI'S -- 6/17/2001: My friends and I ventured out to this show to show how O.G. hardcore we are. The rock got off to a dubious start, though, with Eyeagainst, who I didn't care for (but lots of the crowd dug them, so that counts for something). They played an Adrenaline-era Deftones style of screamo-metal (without the groove) that I didn't find too engaging, but I've seen worse, so no big deal. Then Haste took the stage (looking like half of Weezer with half of The Stereo) and started riling the crowd up something fierce. Their style is emo-core or "original emo" like Rites of Spring, Embrace or Ignition, but with added bits of Snapcase and Helmet-style power metal. They have 2 vocalists (one high and one low) that go absolutely apeshit. A nice mix of singing and screaming. Good stuff.
Next was the mighty Candiria. If you haven't listened to these guys yet, you are a fool. They're probably the most challenging heavy act around right now (who else goes from Hatebreed-style hardcore to Wes Montgomery-style jazz passages?), with odd meters (occasionally every instrument would be in a different time signature), sick beats courtesy of über-drummer Kenneth Schalk, crazy left-field breakdowns, and Carley Coma's intelligent, incisive lyrical delivery. Guitarist John LaMacchia left me standing there, jaw agape, with his seamless melding of complex jazz and crushing metal. Insane. As a musician, seeing all this mad genius was a very humbling experience, and if I hadn't been in that pit, I would've been in a corner sulking somewhere, rifling through all my Mel Bay theory books. Candiria's newest album, 300% Density, is out now, and you need to listen.
And then of course, came the Bad/Soul Brains. This is the original lineup of the band; supposedly the new moniker is to distance themselves from all the negative connotations (like splitting open a skinhead's skull with a mic stand, if you consider that negative). I personally think that's a smokescreen to cover up some legal maneuvering a la Prince/The Artist/Prince, but whatever -- they play all the stuff they've always played, so it's just semantics. Anyway, after about an hour and a half of setup time, the Brains finally took the stage, and they had to start their opening song three times due to equipment problems. Nice. Once they got going, though, it was a pretty solid show, and they played something from every era of the Brains legacy, the set ending up being equal parts reggae, thrash and power metal. Of course, when they launched into "Pay to Cum," the crowd went shithouse. No backflips from HR, however; I guess he's getting old. Dr. Know was, as always, a maniac on the axe. All told, a damn good show, even with the minor setbacks. I even got word (which came from Dr. Know) that the Brains/Fishbone/Living Colour tour is in the planning stages and will be going out soon. If the last shows I've seen by these bands are any indication, this tour will be a massive schooling for a lot of people. Don't miss it. (Mel House)
Candiria -- http://www.candiria.com/;
Haste -- http://www.hastemusic.com/;
Eyeagainst -- http://www.eyeagainst.com/