Elbo Room, San Francisco
June 4, 2010
What a long day... but in a good way. The energy level at work is always different when the CEO is in town from London, but it was all good because we adore him and he's one badass muthafawker. The work day ended with a 3 hour Happy Hour hang sesson with my colleagues and our boss at the corner bar near the office. Drinks flowed and blood was spilled, and if the boyz wanna fight you better let 'em. Then at around 9:30pm I said my goodbyes and set the Prius on course for The Mission to catch Vastum before I passed out.
Umlaut is a big fan of Leila's musicianship via Saros and Amber Asylum... and now she's also a member of Hammers Of Misfortune! BUSY! Back in January, when Vastum was announced, she told me it was refreshing to be playing downtuned "Caveman" Metal (HAHA!). By coincidence, Umlaut LOVES Caveman Metal and the songs the band initially posted had me looking for my fur shorts and club. I've listened to the band's 3-song demo over and over and they immediately had me with their S.F. style Amebix / Celtic Frost crusty sweaty dirty volume; I'm a complete sucker for a band like this. Vastum sounds like a rabid Troll charging at you from underneath a bridge in the middle of the night.
Unfortunately, I was out of town back in March when Vastum played their 1st show... and I believe this was only their 2nd gig.. However, after tonight they're already near the top of my favorite local Metal bands. Dan on vocals is one of the most authentic frontmen I've seen in awhile; loose, lost, and not afraid to break down the band / audience barrier by storming off the stage to start some crowd action during a song. I really liked how Luca and RD on bass and drums held things down in a loose, groove way that is a nice departure from the usual oh-so-serious crusty Metal way. Kyle on guitar seems to channel an inner Kerry King, which is 101% fine with me of course... and you know Leila on the other side of the stage means Caveman Metal business because with Vastum she's playing a motherfucking black BC Rich instead of the SG she wielded with Saros. A solid band, man. SOLID. The highlight of the set was the awesome downtuned stomp of 'Master's Mark'... which is the type of song I immediately want to hear again once it's finished. Hit *Rewind* and *Play* again...
Vastum onstage was the best 30 minutes of my TGIFriday. Apologies to Flood and Morne, but I bailed immediately after Vastum finished because I was TIRED. A bummer because I had wanted to check out Morne... but I just couldn't do it. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. It really is astounding how many amazing Metal bands call The Bay Area home at this moment in time. HAIL!