RECAP: Savage Imperial Death March Tour Hits Brooklyn with Three Unique Bands
"Okay hold up," says front man Wayne Coyne, halting the third song of their set at San Antonio's Maverick Festival in it's place. "The 'chop-chops' are an indication as to how the rest of the show is gonna go. Let's go again."
You wouldn’t mosh a guy with glasses on, would you? Well, despite your faith in cordiality of concertgoers, you may want to pop in contacts lest you stand a little too close to the action while attending one of the 19 remaining dates of the Savage Imperial Death March Tour.
At the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY last night, three monstrously and uniquely heavy bands – each hailing from different continents – took to the stage, bringing fans to the very brink of tinnitus in the best way possible. Japan’s Melt-Banana played the part of opener, ripping through a history of songs with light-speed time signatures such as “Chain-Shot to Have Some Fun” from 2003’s classic Cell-Scape. They performed as a two-piece with core members Yasuko Onuki and Ichirou Agata filling in live instrumentation while backed with bass and drum accompaniment via digital programming.
“Chain-Shot to Have Some Fun”
Next up were legendary grunge/sludge/metal; altogether potpourri extraordinaire – Melvins. Staple bandmates Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover, guitar and drums respectively, have rounded out their latest iteration of the group with Steven McDonald on bass from Redd Kross. The volume had noticeably amplified at this point in the night, as the three tore through an incredibly versatile set with numbers ranging from the band’s first album Gluey Porch Treatments all the way to their newest effort Basses Loaded, which will see a June 3rd release on Ipecac Recordings.
Last, but certainly not least, were the UK’s infamous grindcore act Napalm Death. Everyone’s eardrums were fuzzy and struggling for consciousness following the one-two punch of Melt-Banana and Melvins, and to put things in perspective –Napalm Death merely began their sound check and drove a significant wave of the crowd to retreat from the sound. Decibels weren’t a feasible scale to measure the room tone anymore. In fact, their performance made for a slightly disappointing climax, if only due to what was lost in the chaos. Guitar and bass became a wash, getting buried alive underneath Mark Greenway’s vocals, and maybe it was the effect of having your hearing capacity chipped away slowly throughout the course of the night, but Danny Herrera’s double bass drum kicks were mic’d so incongruously to the rest of his set that I once confused the sound to be his high-hat. Although in fairness, such an aural onslaught is to be expected when you sign up for a Napalm Death show.
The Birmingham quartet played through their Guinness record-holding “You Suffer” (world’s shortest song at 1.316 seconds) amongst other select career-spanning numbers and even a Dead Kennedys cover for good measure, then called it a night. The ever-expanding mosh pit dissolved, lights undimmed, and a sense of camaraderie was felt in the room, as we all knew our ears would be ringing on the walk home and our necks would be sore as hell in the morning. All in a day’s work on the Savage Imperial Death March Tour.