Live: Viking Storm, pt. I: Tooth leaves an impression | Music
INDY Week's music blog

Archives | RSS

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Live: Viking Storm, pt. I: Tooth leaves an impression

Posted by on Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 12:41 PM

Viking Storm, pt. I (Tooth, Caverns, The Bronzed Chorus, Pink Flag)

The Pinhook, Durham

Friday, April 3

Mere observation be damned.

As Durham powerhouse Tooth packed itself onto the cramped Pinhook stage—rightfully headlining night one of Viking Storm—the band's charged gallop churned every body, mine included, in the front half of the room to a flailing froth. It's a testament to the band's intensity and deep, cutting grooves that they could drive a room full of people to hurtle themselves at one another at a show where moshing had no precedent prior to the headliner's set. Mere observation was impossible.

It's a shame Tooth won't be playing again until August. The band's lunging sludge—lacerated by sharp leads and sutured back together with frontman J-Me Guptill's demonic growls—ranks with the genre's best and brightest active bands.

But Tooth's was hardly the only noteworthy performance to come from the four-band bill. The night's lineup moved smoothly, each band complementing the others despite a wide sonic palette. A chain mail-clad Pink Flag kicked off the show with a loose, carefree set of irreverent riot-pop, something like a noisier Bratmobile. Playing without any trace of pretense, the trio allowed its music to speak for itself, and even as the set lagged between songs it moved along and proved a solid opening.

The meat in the local-band sandwich, though, was a pair of instrumental acts—Greensboro's Bronzed Chorus and D.C.'s Caverns—who both stretch the riff-based rock template into new and interesting directions. The Bronzed Chorus' use of loop pedals is part of the duo's larger-than-ought-to-be-possible sound, but the real key is the energy and urgency put into the songs, and their functioning as complete, melodic entities without the use of a vocal crutch.

Caverns, likewise, crafts concise, rocking songs, but theirs borrows less from post-rock and more from the close kinship of classical music and heavy metal. Classical piano forms the melodic focal point of the D.C. Trio, but guitar parts that alternately shred and bludgeon marry thick, frantic drumming to walk the line between hardcore and metal without feeling forced. Abrupt shifts and stops recall Fugazi's dynamic, but that's where the comparison ends.

Still, Tooth garnered the most physical response from the crowd, and in so doing, proved its ability to transcend its often disparaged genre, not by hyphenating it with some more-accessible nonsense, but by being really damn good at being a metal band.

Tags: , , , , ,

Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music

Twitter Activity


I was proud to call him Uncle Willy cousin with the same birthday

by Blackfoot on Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012 (Music)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

I was proud to call him Uncle Willy cousin with the same birthday

by Blackfoot on Proud to call him Lumbee: Willie French Lowery, 1944-2012 (Music)

Revive is my people. If folks were offended by this, I can assure you it wasn't intentional. Revive Music was …

by Matthew Allen on Art of Cool Festival, Night One: Revive Big Band's Music-History Concert Leaves Out Women to an Absurd Degree (Music)

Small crowds like the one in Utrecht The Netherlands where I was with my 7 year young daughter may be …

by George Hendriks on The blues of Randall Bramblett's career-long cult status—and the promise of his new Devil Music (Music)

Wow! I am speechless. Skylar that was amazing! You are very talented. I love your vocal range and passion. Thank …

by Rita Romaine Rakestraw on Video Premiere: Phil Cook and Skylar Gudasz Nod to Alice Gerrard in New Tribute Clips (Music)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation