Friday, May 24, 2013

Rotten Sound @ the Acheron, 05.22.2013

I don't know if any city benefits more in the weeks before MDF than New York; European bands looking to get the most out of crossing the Atlantic will often do one-off dates there. A week prior to MDF 2011, I saw Miasmal play to a small crowd within the cozy confines of the Acheron, thereby freeing me from having to buy tickets for that year's Saturday line up (sorry, Voivod). This year, a number of the bands that played the sold out Baltimore Soundstage made appearances in NY, to the delight of people like me who weren't able to get tickets before that venue sold out. This show nearly slipped out from under me as well; I arrived at the Acheron to find it filled to capacity; including a surprising number of cute girls, and an unsurprising number of drunk assholes (those two things shouldn't be seen as unrelated, or even mutually exclusive).

Australian hardcore bands are the one thing I can count on seeing in Malaysia, with Last Chaos, Nuclear Summer, and Idylls all having stopped by within the last year. Kromosom haven't yet, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time. Not sure if I need another D-Beat band in my life; though admittedly Kromosom do it well, and with a gusto that's admirable. Watching their singer enlist the jaded NY audience into carrying him around the room was certainly enjoyable; though if they do play Rumah Api he should be warned in advance that Malaysians are still trying to get the hang of it.
Hellshock are apparently a big deal with fans of raw angry hardcore. They're also legitimately scary in a way that most bands doing the Motorhead/Discharge thing aren't, but after a few songs their biker punk onslaught becomes numbing, then wearying. The same thing could be said about the drunk guys moshing behind me. Either KL has made me soft, or there's some particularly good meth going around Brooklyn this summer. But I quickly realize that standing between the band and the meatheads who love them wasn't in my best interest and skedaddle. I'm too old to get jostled around like that on a Wednesday night, and I'm sure the girls I kept falling on would agree with that.

In mixing grindcore with that sublime Sunlight guitar tone, Rotten Sound probably made the best bid to fill the void left by the mighty Nasum. Except that Nasum pulled off what no grind band since Napalm Death have mastered, which is writing memorable songs (it helps if you draw from outside influences, as both Napalm and Nasum did). In contrast, Rotten Sound's set was a blur of unrelenting blast beats and their sandpaper guitar tone - which is a beautiful thing in and of itself, but made me realize that none of their music has clicked with me since I first bought Still Psycho a decade ago. Still, the Acheron was packed to the gills with people who love them, and Rotten Sound never gave them a reason not to. Maybe it's because they've played NY so many times already, and will undoubtedly be back soon - or maybe they were just saving their energy for MDF. Either way, it felt like a formality fulfilled, even as they acquiesced to a multi-song encore. Considering it was only the previous month that they played both the Hammersonic Festival and Obscene Extreme Asia, their lethargy is understandable.

Dreams of Consciousness is on Facebook, with an unsurprising number of drunk assholes but no cute girls to fall on.