Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday's Gone

Book Of Black Earth / Landmine Marathon
Thee Parkside, San Francisco
August 11, 2009

In the waning hours of a Tuesday, I left Casa de Umlaut intending only to see one band... This was Umlaut's 4th show in 5 days in 3 cities and 3 states and I'm not quite caught up on the sleep yet.

Umlaut was introduced to Landmine Marathon via Cosmo Lee's excellent Invisible Oranges blog. After reading about them I got the band's Rusted Eyes Awake CD and pretty much listened to it alot, usually at night... usually while I was on the computer working.

Several months back when Landmine were planning this tour, they posted a message online asking for help in booking some West Coast dates. I assumed they were already aware of Whore For Satan, but I forwarded them the contact info anyway... and, lo and behold, that small gesture resulted in this show. In e-mails with the band I learned they had previously only played over in The East Bay at a house party and at Gilman, so this would be their first show in San Franfuckincisco. So there you go.

My apologies to the first 2 bands on the bill, but I planned my evening to be surgically precise and missed their sets. Doors at 8:00PM > Show at 9:00PM > Landmine 3rd band on > Me leave house at 10:05PM > Me walk into club at 10:20PM > Landmine hit the stage at around 10:35PM. That's pretty fucking surgical, right? Upon arriving at Thee Parkside I fell into formation with Hard Rock Chick and Photo Ray and it was go time, mofos.

In the months preceding this show, I became entangled with Landmine's music because of their combination of subtle molten death melodies and overt mayhem as presented on the Rusted Eyes Awake CD. When they hopped onstage at Thee Parkside and prepared to play my expections were like the calm before the storm... and when they hit the first note of the set opener 'Red Days' it was like a switch was flicked and all Hell broke loose.

I've said it in this space before, but my favorite bands are the ones who seize the moment and make it their own regardless of the size of the audience or venue; Landmine Marathon are one of those bands. Musically they are a sledgehammer of volume held together by subtle melody and dynamics. This musical sledgehammer is combined with vocalist Grace Perry, who fronts the band like a charismatic Velociraptor onstage; she leaps, slashes, and tears into her duties with a genuine fury.

Landmine's 35 minute set was an aural evisceration with 'Skin From Skull' being my favorite song of the night.. However, the set closing 'Bile Towers' that saw Grace leaping over the modest stage barrier into the crowd was the obvious highlight. Landmine were all fury and no filler, man. Fantastic.

To make things even more medieval, evidently Grace was performing with a suspected broken nose from the Long Beach show 5 days earlier. Wow... METAL!

I was intending to only stay for a couple of Book Of Black Earth songs, but the Seattle band won me over with their dark presentation. I found myself being drawn from leaning against the bar to leaning against guitarist TJ Cowgill's backline; I subconsciously had to get closer to what BOBE was doing. Good music, be it Death Metal or otherwise, has that effect on you sometimes...

In hindsight, it was not unlike stepping closer to someone swinging a shovel at my face... at least that's the analogy that just popped into my head this morning sans coffee. I tried to buy a CD from Book Of Black Earth after their set, but no one was manning their merch table... Dudes!

As I was turning to leave someone tapped my arm: It was Matt (bassist) of Landmine who said he recognized me from cyberspace. Doh! We chatted for a bit and I got the download on what the near future holds for the band (new album out early next year, etc.). Thanks for taking the time, Matt!

I've really been slacking on the merch audits of late, but Landmine CDs were $10 with a free sticker. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. All in all it was a damn good Tuesday night.