Hellraiser – After The Fact
Tonight, Nemesis Productions put on a show at Sand Island R&B, billed as ‘Hellraiser’.
Now, if you look back at my last post, it shows the flyer for the show, but as is normally the case, the bill changed a bit from the flyer, but even so, a metric ass ton of bands played. Ranging from awesome to… not awesome, the show at large was pretty good.
My plan here is to write a little bit about each of the bands who played, in order. After that, I’m going to rate their performance from 0 to 5 skullies, as indicated below:
Ok, so let’s begin with the opening act, The Gods Of Hi-Fi. Now, these guys are all family guys, older gentlemen who rock pretty hard. Now there are a number of pretty interesting things about them as far as I’m concerned:
1) They’re all family men. As I am a musician and a father and husband myself, it’s reassuring to see other parents rocking out with abandon.
2) Despite the crowd being fairly small at the time they played, they still put out a lot of energy and played a pretty darn good set.
3) I am a bit of a gear freak, and seeing their instrument selection was pretty cool to me. While their bassist played a normal Precision Bass, and their lead guitarist played a pretty normal Stratocaster, their rhythm guitarist/vocalist played a really awesome Jat King – you don’t see a whole lot of them floating around. The only downside is that it was just being used for rhythm purposes – would have been nice to see him play some lead.
4) I LOVE THAT GUY’S VOICE. They played a song near the end of their set called ‘Hope,’ which was a pretty song that really reminded me of Sister Hazel, a band which came out of Florida and made it sorta big for a little while in the nineties. In fact, I listened to them on my iPod on the way home, cause it gave me a taste of home.
On the whole, Gods of Hi-Fi was great. For a softer pop-rock kind of sound, of which I am not too fond, they pulled it off great. Five skullies.
Following the Gods of Hi-Fi was the local trio called Crossroad Rebels. I can sum these guys up in one word: Unpolished.
That’s not to say they’re bad, they may not be – but there are a few things that made them difficult to watch and listen to. For starters, their bass was overpowering. It was jacked up way too loud, and I couldn’t hear the guitarist/vocalist. I could hear the drummer, sorta, but she was pretty uninspiring, and for the most part seemed uninterested in playing or being there at all. While the bass was up too loud, you could literally feel it rocking your ribcage, and it was especially jarring when he missed a beat or stuttered during an eighth note run. He really came in to his own though, during the third or fourth song, when he started dropping the mad Flea-esque funk slap/pop.
They did a couple instrument swaps during their set. During one song, the bassist went to drums, and the drummer went to bass and vocals. Her voice was almost as inaudible as their lead vox. During another song near the end, the bassist went to keys, the guitarist went to plain vocals, and the drummer went to sleep. That song was actually one of maybe two that was any good… or rather, it had potential. The lyrics were pretty deep, the progression was slick for a ballady sound, and all that needed to be fixed was the syncopation between the lyrics and the keys.
From what I understand, these guys were a cover band primarily before, and it only stands to reason that they might hiccup a bit when doing their originals for the first couple times.
All in all, a little more practice would do these guys a world of good. They have so much potential, it’ll be cool to see them when they get their spit and polish on there. Three skullies.
After those fellows finished came Saving Cadence, a power duo. These guys had a weird instrument setup, and as odd as it was to me to see a two piece playing an Ovation acoustic/electric in Sand Island of all places, they pulled it off really well. Now these guys (did I mention that they’re twins?) have a bunch of songs, originals and covers both, and they have kind of a weird Sublime/Island Music vibe that sounded pretty good. Both of them did vocals, both of them played their instruments, and both of them had a mildly entertaining stage presence. I would pay to see them again… but not if I had to wait in line for more than fifteen minutes or so. Four skullies.
describe to you or anybody, but they have a vibe that just screams ‘I’m hip!’ I mean hell, their vocalist wears a flippin POWER GLOVE. If you know what that is, like I do, then you’re too damn old. Hell, not only do they have style, but if you can tell me what their name is a reference to (without looking up Wikipedia) then you’re a frikkin nerd… also like me. Anyhow, My favorite song by TRE is called ‘Addict’, and I highly recommend you listen to it on their Myspace page. TRE gets an easy five skullies.
If the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beasties Boys were to meet in a seedy hotel on a hot Arizona highway and get all freaky-deaky, The Rorshach Experiment would be the result. They have all sorts of funky, hip hoppy songs which I can’t adequately
other local bands a bit of the spotlight. If you’re in Honolulu, you know them already, not going to waste my time describing them or their style. Now, since I’ve seen them a billion times, and they seemed tired, having a bit of an off night, I’m gonna give them four skullies.
While Rorshach brought the crowd, Phoenix Rose brought them to life. Now, the truth is, they play all the time, and I listen to their demo all the time. I know all their songs, and could probably go on an sing in any of their places. And man, it’s good to see they’re finally going to hit up their tour starting in Seattle soon. They’ve been saying they were going on tour for ages now, but it’ll be good to see them have their shot, and to give some
It’s important to note that by this time, I was starting to get tired, so my attentiveness began to taper off.
After Phoenix Rose came Corpus Black. Death Metal. Long songs. Inaudible lyrics. No bassist. Nice Guys. Boring set. One skully.
members generally remain the same. Every time I see them, they’re getting better. Their guitarist (former bassist) is picking up his energy, their bassist (former groupie) is still cute, their drummer (former something or other) still hits shit with a stick.
After Corpus Black came Before Fire. I’ve been watching these guys for over a year. I’ve seen them go through a bunch of members, though the core
Their vocalist is still completely incomprehensible when growling, but he does have a pretty impressive growl. When he’s not growling or making lude, crude, and socially unacceptable comments into a microphone, or generally insulting everybody in the venue, he’s a pretty nice guy with a pretty bad ass beard. And I tend to like his shirts… Anyhow, their set was better than normal, though not as good as I have seen from them in the distant past. I think normally I’d pop them with one or two skullies, tonight was a solid three at least, with only room for improvement.If their bassist shakes her bon bon and bangs her head a bit to the beat instead of staring at the guitarist’s hands with a completely bewildered look for the entire set (hint, hint, Katelyn ), then they’d be an EASY four skullies.
By the time these bands came up, I couldn’t stand it any more. I had to step outside, returning in for a few seconds at a time, ling enough to shake my head in disbelief and stick my fingers in my ears. Both bands sound exactly the same, and much akin to an elephant being raped by a tyrannosaur. During one song, I stepped in to see a barre chord progression of maybe 7-9 chords, and each one sounded exactly the same, like a low E. The vocalists sucked, the timing was nonexistant, and though the guys themselves were nice, I have to say this with the utmost respect and deepest sadness:
Gentlemen, you suck.
At least there were only like three people left in the building when they came on, and those were just the members of the other band. Zero Skullies, times two.
There were a couple other bands represented a the show tonight, with members popping in here and there: Stillborn Skies, A Kingdom Lost, Crooked Halo, Upon Golgotha, Cradle To Grave, and more. The bands in the scene out here are all pretty damn supportive of one another, and you can generally find a bunch of bands who aren’t even playing coming out to support those who are. Check them all out when you have time!
~ by whatscene on January 24, 2010.