Oakland Metro, Oakland, California
May 28, 2012
Memorial Day Weekend 2012. The day before the show it was nice to have some quality hang time with Umlaut kindred spirit friends Landmine Marathon. The band arrived in The Bay Area a day early to rehearse with their new drummer Raul (formerly of the East Bay’s own mighty Impaled!) at the legendary Soundwaves Studios. Landmine’s bloodcurdling Metal was in stark contrast to the sweet sounding Indie Rock band who were rehearsing in the space next door. Good times… and later that night this happened:
[Photo courtesy of No Ceiling Photography]
Fast forward to the next day and I found myself inside the comfortable crusty interior of the Oakland Metro. It had been 9 months since the last time I saw Brainoil. Much to my delight, the band were on fire and really entrenched themselves with me once again. Their sound, especially onstage, has a ridiculously heavy groove that could go on for days. I also still love how Brainoil seems to literally bleed the grit and grime of the East Bay with every note. Maybe it's just my old man brain, but the old skool 510 attitude just oozes out of every note that Brainoil plays. A local treasure... of volume.
Umlaut has a special kinship with Landmine Marathon and it's been downright awesome to watch their progression over the past 3 years since I first met them. I'm gonna just come right out and say how proud I am of the kidz being handpicked by Metallica to play at their Orion Festival in Atlantic City later this month. From Metal blog buzz band to their tunes being on James Hetfield's iPod. You'd be a dick to deny that's not awesome. Tonight was only their 3rd show with Raul on drums and included the live debut of the song 'Morbidity'. Ferocious. Great band. Great friends. 'Nuff said. I'd take a bullet for them.
All the way from Sweden for the first time ever, Nasum are a band whose tragedy could easily overshadow their substantial legacy. For the newbies: The band's singer and guitarist Mieszko Talarczyk was tragically killed in the 2005 tsunami in Thailand while on vacation. The band's brief one-off U.S. Tour was meant to celebrate the band's 20th Anniversary... and also served as their Farewell Tour. Bizarre and sad. To be honest, Nasum means alot more to others than to Umlaut and it was cool to see the awe and excitement the band's visit caused. A nice grind groove... a nice grind vibe. However, I'll come clean and say Nasum have never been on Umlaut's radar... but it was heartwarming to witness the celebration their appearance on these shores caused amongst friends. Maybe Umlaut in Swedish means poser? Discuss amongst yourselves.
If you bought one of every Landmine Marathon merch item you would have paid around $200. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. Early the next morning, running on 4 hours of sleep and coffee, Umlaut found himself on a plane bound for L.A. for work. No rest for the wicked, man.