Hopelessly Obscure, Glider, Ten Dollar
Ralphs October 21, 2016
Roadsaw & Scissorfight
Ive gone on about Hopelessly Obscure and Glider in the recent past so lets go with Ten Dollar Mistake and If We Go at All.
White-knuckle rain on the way down. Theres a veil of water on the windshield with the wipers at full blast. Brake lights reflect off everything. Everyone who walks in the door is a bit freaked and looking to decompress. John Funke and Henry Mk IIIs mistake is worth making. Two guys playing backwoods covers shouldnt be this compelling. Funke roughs up that primal guitar and Ralphs is a roadhouse behind some factories on the outskirts of town (hey that is what it really is!) Henry III keeps the thump simple and the motion forward. Funke does the herky jerky back and forth around the stage (even better when hes on the floor). The vocals and solos are all short and pushy. Dont need no more than the I IV and occasional V. They sound like lit up late night AM radio in the pouring rain.
If We Go At All take a whole other route through the rain. They dont clip their points or get in and out quick. Its a good contrast to the rest of the night. Brothers Alex and Mike go twin on the guitars. All that time together sets up a natural connection that moves between them as they alternate rhythm and leads. The jams grind and soar - a bit Godspeed you Black Emperor when they hit the grit and without the long twee wind ups. The melodies have an ebb and flow dynamic. The vocals and lyrics you can catch are strong and fond of language. If We Go at All toss off a pop hook or two for good measure. The rhythm section's tight. The bass player keeps good groove and adds back up vocals. The drummer plays short, lickity-split fills that snap and land on the mark. Not too shabby.
A week later and the rain has slowed to a sprinkle. Once had a night of born again heavy. I missed the under card and got in just in time to catch Roadsaw and the rejiggered Scissorfight.
Roadsaw used Halloween weekend to step out the grave and shake the ground. Ian Ross kept that riff happy guitar on overdrive all night. TC kept kept that big low pounding in waves. Riggs and Hemmond hadnt lost a step. The band recently signed with hard and heavy Ripple Records. Sounds like Roadsaw are a going concern once again.
Scissorfight had more to prove. Dr. Frankenstein Fortin (guitar) and his trusty assistant Igor Jarvis (bass) have been out grave robbing. They have taken their formidable and beloved monster and grafted on a new head (Doug Aubin - Vocals) and new lug boots (Rick Orcutt - Drums). Replacing Ironlungs head is no tonsillectomy. Theres mixed opinion in the medical community on the morality of these reanimations. Im in the life goes on" camp. Does it breath? Does it still scramble your neurons and move your ass? Does it rock? Yes, then let natural selection take its course. Ironlung had his charisma. Aubin has decent bark, prowls the stage, exhorts the crowd, hits the floor. He did backwoods justice to the old tunes and gnawed his way through a handful of newbies ("Tits Up" stuck out). The man could chop wood. Theres still a light on up at the Frankenstein place. The villagers shouldnt burn down the windmill just yet.