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11/11/2011 Black Tusk, Thou, MonstrO (Rochester, NY @ Montage Music Hall)

By Eric | November 12, 2011 2:58 pm

Talk about going on a whim… after the Amerks game it was too early to go home, and from a quick description Black Tusk sounded like a band worth checking out, so I shot over the three blocks or so from Blue Cross Arena to the Montage, paid my $12, and became one of about 50 people total in the place. I got there just as MonstrO was setting up, and my timing couldn’t have been better.

As I quickly found out, MonstrO is a (yet another) band out of Atlanta, with a couple members whose previous projects I was into. Namely drummer Bevan Davies, who’s played with seemingly everybody, but notably Bloodsimple, Comes With The Fall (who were Jerry Cantrell’s backing band for the Degradation Trip tour), and Still Rain. Bass player Kyle Saunders was also in Bloodsimple, and come to find out, their CD was produced by William Duvall, Bevan’s old bandmate in CWTF and now singer for Alice in Chains! So with all these connections, I was hoping for good things, and got good things! MonstrO kinda sounds like a Soundgarden-esqe type of heavy rock, but I wouldn’t necessarily compare them. Singer Charlie Suarez can get into that Chris Cornell (and even Jeff Buckley) sort of range at times. They were very entertaining, and almost out of place on the bill, given the next two bands. I got to talk to Kyle and Charlie after their set, and picked up their CD on the way out.

Thou is described as sludge/doom metal with a punk edge. I can’t claim to know where the punk edge came in, but they had sludge/doom down. And I realized that I’m not all that into it! The singers vocals/screams were high and harsh, just not a great combo to my ears. Not a whole lot of melody to be had.

Black Tusk are a three-piece from Savannah, GA, and describe themselves as Swamp Metal. I’ve also seen them described as Stoner Metal, but either way, I liked them a lot better than Thou. The songs went somewhere, had some structure, and while obviously got slow and chuggy in places, there was some headbanging to be done also.

Not too shabby for dropping in on a whim, dropping $12 and not knowing any of the bands. It worked out pretty well!

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