Thursday, August 12, 2010


Corrosion Of Conformity / Goatsnake / Eagle Twin / Black Breath / Righteous Fool
DNA Lounge, San Francisco
August 10, 2010

Earlier in the day, Toby Rage, one of the absolute legends of the original 80's Bay Area Metal Scene, passed away from injuries he suffered in a jet ski accident. It was ironic that the original lineup of C.O.C. were playing tonight since I'm sure Toby created mayhem at many of their shows back in The Day.

Toby onstage with Exodus - Berkeley, August 1984
(Photo by Umlaut)

R.I.P... Kidz these days don't... even... know.

Practically next door at Slim's was the other Metal show in town tonight featuring Devil Driver / Kataklysm / Saviours / Skeletonwitch... and I could have done a doubleheader... and my name was on the headliner's guest list... but I decided to keep it simple and stay at the DNA especially since my night was going to involve an intermission of sorts.

I arrived late but just in time to catch the last song of Righteous Fool's set, which is a band made up of Mike (bass) and Reed (drums) of C.O.C. and another guy on guitar. I can't say much more than that since I basically missed them... Oh well.. but 1/2 of C.O.C. onstage bright and early in the show was different.

Black Breath:

Photo courtesy of Sensory Abuse

I've been wanting to see Black Breath for at least a year since I picked up their excellent Razor to Oblivion EP (4-songs... 15 minutes..), but I kept missing them. Their latest CD has been getting a good amount of spins on Umlaut's stereo and you can't go too wrong with a band who takes their name from Tolkien (For the newbies: Black Breath is the toxic aura given off by the Nazgûl). The band hit the stage hard and generated some good heat during their 30 minutes with a slice 'n dice selection of older and new songs. The space wasn't terribly crowded this early so Black Breath attempted to ratchet things up a notch when Neil the singer jumped off the stage to generate some better pit action. Nice attempt, lad. At the end of the day, I'd have to say I need to see Black Breath when they're playing a smaller room like Thee Parkside where they can get in the face of an audience instead of being removed from them on a big stage... I also need to get The Lord of the Rings Trilogy on Blu-Ray.

Eagle Twin: This is where my night got kind of crazy (but not in a bad way). I watched 1 song of Eagle Twin's Doom Duo Sludge (Black Cobra do the volume duo thing better IMO) and then had to bail for a quick trip back to Casa de Umlaut, then to SFO to pick up Skychick, then back to Casa de Umlaut to drop her off. Then I raced back to the DNA, parked, saw a couple of friends outside smoking and ducked back inside in time to see...


Photo courtesy of Sensory Abuse

I'm guessing that I probably missed no more than 2 songs of their set; thankfully the show was running a little behind schedule. After I ducked inside I zigzagged my way up to the front and stood in front of Greg Anderson as he laid down his 6-string tone and then I remembered that it was fucking Scott Reeder (Kyuss!!) on bass and Greg Rogers (The Obsessed!!) on drums. Having members of Kyuss, The Obsessed, Sunn O))), Wool, and Scream onstage together was one of the highlights of the year for me. Umlaut is a Doom Guy and I'm totally down for a set of black groove like Goatsnake. Their set was exactly what I needed to hear on this day of death and reflection on the past. Remember when Kyuss played The Bottom of the Hill? Me too. After Goatsnake's soul shattering set I had to get my head back together after my mad airport dash... so I got a beer and ran into some old friends to pass the break with until...

Corrosion Of Conformity:

Photo courtesy of Sensory Abuse

When C.O.C. first came onto the scene it was around the time in my life when I was starting to listen to other music beyond Metal (Bob Dylan and Nick Cave mofos!) so I didn't latch onto them during the Metal / Punk Crossover of the late 80's. I'm more of a fan of the Pepper-era stuff just because that's when I started listening to them and seeing the band live. Hey! I'd rather be honest than a poser, man. However, even I knew the Animosity lineup of the band would bring people out of the woodwork... and it did, but it was mostly Old Metalheads and not very many Old Punks. Thankfully C.O.C. lived up to everyone's expectations. Woody's axe tone was dead on... Reed on drums was old school killer in that deceptively minimalist way... and I'd forgotten how great Mike is on bass. It sort of felt like a show from back in The Day except the pit action never got out of hand thanks to the DNA security running The Pit... which is so wrong. Let The Pit police itself! Number of kidz thrown out during C.O.C.'s set = 1.

According to the Umlaut Archives this was my 50th show of 2010. The night was like a collision of Umlaut's World past and present; sort of like the time machine that Rush used as a theme the night before! There were at least 6 people in the room who I've known since I was a teenager and there were alot of Umlaut Nation members and close friends in the house as well. Given the earlier passing of Toby Rage it was kind of eerie having so many eras of my life meeting in the DNA on this night. Trippy, man.

I had so much stuff going on in my head that I completely spaced on even looking at C.O.C.'s merch. Oh well... On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. When I got home I stayed up until 2:00am for no good reason...