Clavius Productions presents a night of bone-crushing riffage and bludgeoning psychedelic sludge at the Velvet Lounge. EYE, from Columbus, features Matt Bailey of the late, lamented Teeth of the Hydra, who Kohoutek had the pleasure of playing with in Philly years ago. Their tourmates and Columbus brethren, Lo-Pan, update Kyuss desert rock with a healthy dose of Midwest aggro attitude. This is Kohoutek's first DC show since opening for Roedelius in October, and probably last til the spring, so get your fill of pummeling space boogie while you get the chance.
Friday, March 2
915 U St NW WDChttp://www.velvetloungedc.com/
$8, doors at 9pm, 21+
Kohoutek (Philly/DC improv psych, Prophase Records)
Lo-Pan (Columbus, Small Stone Records)
EYE (Columbus, ex-Teeth of the Hydra/Deadsea)
Ambition Burning (NoVA hardcore/post-metal, think early Neurosis, ex-Durga Temple/VOG)Kohoutekhttp://www.claviusproductions.org/
“People interested in music that defies the pop song convention, music that challenges that part of your brain that lies dormant during most aural experiences, need a band like Kohoutek. This ensemble began their wildly meandering journey across the more peripheral realms of free-form psych rock a few years back and from the very beginning they seemed determined to try to cross swathes of interstellar drone, guitar squall and loose, slowly evolving improvisations of drum and bass grooves and squelchy electronics with tapestries of gravitationally flowing darkness.“ (Mats Gustafsson)
“If I was still young and devious (not that I ever was devious, of course…) I’d be tempted to slap a United Artists label on this one, scuff up the sleeve and palm it off as a lost classic from 1971. Filed alongside a host of highly collectable Can, Man, Hawkwind and Amon Duul II LPs nobody would ever be the wiser. And that, to my mind, is no bad thing.” (Phil McMullen, Ptolemaic Terrascope)Lo-Panhttp://lopandemic.com/http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lo-Pan/130592378248?sk=wall
Talk about grabbing the brass ring when it comes within striking distance -- Columbus, Ohio's Lo-Pan waste not an ounce of opportunity to impress with their first new album for Small Stone (and third overall), Salvador, which truly brought new hope of "salvation" to the stoner rock masses upon its release in early 2011. Yes, the promising signs were already quite evident on the group's sophomore opus, Sasquanaut (reissued just prior to this third LP), but on Salvador, Lo-Pan achieve a fluid balance of guitar-driven muscle and songwriting immediacy that amazingly leaves its predecessor sounding somewhat unfocused by comparison -- and it was really anything but. Yet such is the power achieved by steel-plated nuggets like "El Dorado," "Deciduous," and "Chichen Itza," groove-driven efforts like "Bleeding Out" and "Generations," and even histrionic slow-burners like the seriously psychedelic "Bird of Prey" and convincingly bluesy "Struck Match," where Lo-Pan's remarkable singer, Jeff Martin, eerily sounds like a reborn Joe Lynn f**king Turner…in the best possible sense. It's ultimately that old-school sensibility and recurring ties to classic rock of the 1970s, wed to a modern sonic power standard, that fuel and freshen Lo-Pan's material to oftentimes alchemical, transcendent thresholds, and should allow them to stand out from the herd in today's crowded heavy rock scene. (Eduardo Rivadavia, AMG)EYEhttp://eyemusic.bandcamp.com/https://www.facebook.com/EYE00
Unbeknownst to most of the world, the little burb of Columbus, Ohio has been the epicenter of metal’s evolution for nearly a decade now. At the beginning of this new wave, there was a triumvirate of bands spanning the spectrum of heavy vibes: the epic virtuoso sprawl of Deadsea (who still exist), the visceral thrash of Teeth of the Hydra, and the freaky psychedelic low-end theories of Pretty Weapons. Though each represented their own charged statement as separate units, this cabal of musicians seemed to thrive as alchemists of metal’s core elements, constantly experimenting, collaborating and pushing each other towards a transcendental summit. It has never been the want for innovation or hipster trends (you won’t find odes to black metal or irrelevant growling) that have propelled them up that mountain as it has been the drive to align the spheres that dominate the genre into one pure and mammoth equinox. It was only matter of time before they joined forces.
EYE arrives as Columbus’ latest supergroup, a trio consisting of bassist Matt Bailey (formerly of TOTH), guitarist Matt Auxier and drummer Brandon Smith (both of Pretty Weapons), who rightfully go above and beyond that peak with their self-released debut, Center of the Sun. At nearly 20 minutes, the title track alone would have sufficed as a perfect example of the exemplary evolution that has manifested in Columbus. The trio’s scope is massive and it’s no surprise that Adam “Smitty” Smith (of Deadsea), who produced the record, also contributes organ, Moog and Arp to accentuate this infinite journey; his band’s Desiderata has become a foundation for this blend of cinematic metal exploration. Within that course, EYE locks the listener into a strand that incorporates everything from Floydian dark space and darker moons, the spastic improvisation of Amon Duul’s Yeti, some effects dabbling befitting Goblin soundtracks, and plenty of shreds just to keep your pulse at a maximum. Of course, any metal band who runs the gamut of influence (with Sabbath always being the bedrock) is subject to comparisons, but with much of today’s heavier heroes (Mastadon, I’m looking at you), the results of such meddling leads to disjointed, usually overdubbed garble with no clear intent. EYE can pride themselves on laying most of Center of the Sun down in one take, which makes the complex fusion changes of “Rik Rite” something to behold. It’s there that the trio shows their chops, splitting hairs between the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the deep grooves of Iommi, Butler and Ward. Having seen EYE perform a number of times, it has become evident that these four songs have become a foundation of perfection. Each time they play live, they strive to make it heavier, more profound, than the last time. If there ever was an anthem for EYE, it would be the ominous march of “Ursuper,” a synchronized headbang that becomes ingrained into the conscious as a sort of aural call-to-arms the more times you hear it.
As omniscient overseer, Auxier leads EYE through a number of insurmountable cosmic valleys and crag-filled sonic terrains with his guitar leads. It’s his forward vision. Even when he looks back to the scratch-riddled records of his cool uncle’s record collection, there’s a movement and a layer you didn’t notice before. The nuance and elaboration of those dominating spheres take on strange formations and deafening power. I’d like to think of Center of the Sun as its own towering monolith, surely to be eclipsed by Columbus metal’s next giant step. Whether that’s another EYE record or a further evolution is anyone’s guess. (Kevin J. Elliott, Agit Reader)