Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Still buzzing from the grind

Yup, four days since the Napalm gig on Sep1 and I am still buzzing. It was truly fooking fantastic! Unlike the last time they were here, the sound was loud & crystal clear allowing for a full aural assault of the senses. But first, our small contingent (Bernard, Nick, Premo, Joe Kidd & me wifey) was busy getting into the mood by downing some amber nectar in the less-than-metal ambience of TGIF & as we got nicely sozzled, we contrived to miss the opening act (Restrained). Oh well . . .

We got in just in time to catch Langsuir - one of the best death metal bands from our shores (this is what I call Malaysia Boleh!). I recall seeing them almost 15 years ago in the very same venue where they played their debut set to a packed house & basically blew every other act off the fooking stage (sorry, carburetor dung). Me mates & meself were terribly impressed then with Langsuir's confident and unpretentious approach to the show. No broken Englander intros, no idle chit chat, no berating the crowd . . . just pure unadulterated fooking death metal (with all the appropriate melodramatic gesturing!). And here I was with the same two friends (Nick & Bernard) I was with at that first gig - great to see marriage, kids & other middle-age issues did not stop us from attending this ultra-important event.

Needless to say, Langsuir thrashed up a pretty healthy mosh pit and all the hair farmers were at the fore doing their best 'just wash & go' adverts. Fer the uninitiated, Langsuir's music is a wicked mix of Venom +Cradle+Deicide & will induce automatic whiplash. Only minor complaint is that I think it is quite unbecoming fer the lead singer to have short locks - call me old-fashioned, but front men of nasty, growly death metal bands should always have hair to their arses fer that added effect. But hey, still a cool 9/10 fer Langsuir. Who would have thought a local outfit would survive all these years . . .

Up next was veteran scenester Aru & his merry band of Rastas who struck up a huge cacophony of Sepultura/Soulfly-like mayhem with a healthy dose of Wailers. Nothing wrong with wearing yer influences on yer sleeves but sorry, I was a wee bit disappointed as the sound was muddled & bordering on shambolic at times. Koffin Kanser is one of the best hardcore metal bands around & it was a crying shame that their 20 minutes was blighted by piss poor sound. Tis not enough to just create a visual impact without a crisp, crunchy explosion of riffs in yer face to get the adrenaline flowing. A low 6/10 fer KK. Sorry.

Last opening act fer the nite was Sil Khannaz - yet another superb local outfit that has defied the years by continually churning out grade-A death metal. Proof of their enduring popularity was the sold-out 10th anniversary show at Planet Hollywoood a few months back. I remember completely wearing out me copy of Pendita Gila on we walkman (yes, tape, not downloaded onto ipod) years ago. And SK were able to overcome the sound gremlins that blighted KK's set which meant SK's brand of ultra-technical metal was able to shine thru the amps & stacks. Though the band seem to be carrying a few extra spare tires, energy levels was pumped to the max & plenty of Yngwie-style solos dotted the set list which spanned the entire discography. Tighter than a baboon's arse, SK ran heavy metal amok before the inevitable "Akuuuuulaaah . . . Siiiiiiiiillll Khaaaaaanz (in demonic vocals)" closed their set to thunderous applause. Another Malaysia Boleh 9/10 rating fer this lot.

Time had come fer the main course - NAPALM DEATH. One of the hardest working underground bands out there, these guys soldier on (not even the passing of axeman Jesse Pintando - RIP - could stop them). As mentioned earlier, the previous show suffered from less-than-metal volumes. Now, if you attend a Napalm show, you'd expect yer eardrums to bleed or at least be ringing fer a couple of days. From the very first crunching riff & stomp of the double bass drums, the sheer sonic boom was a revelation. Napalm stormed thru their early material & the groundbreaking stuff from 'Scum' & 'From Enslavement to Obliteration' LPs getting the best response. Incredible that a band that started almost two decades ago is still one of the most extreme outfits still plying their trade. Goes to show - "form is in temporary, class is permanent". Lead growler Barney Greenway also took the time to wish us all 'a happy independence day' & implored us to be united by metal, not divided by race, religion or creed! Well fookin said, Barney (but shame on you fer the short hair as well)!

Even after all these years, Napalm's sound is still razor-sharp & is still amazing to experience the scrotum-crunching-power of tracks such as 'Multinational Corporations', 'Human Garbage' & 'Suffer The Children' up close & personal. Premo (younger & therefore more recklessly energetic) had decided to live dangerously by diving into the swarming mosh pit; only to surface a few tunes later with the simple verdict, "brutal, dude". Right on! Us old fogies decided to headbang closer to the bar area fer obvious reasons . . .

Of course, the sold out crowd demanded an encore. Napalm kindly obliged with what else . . . a tune dedicated (me thinks anyways) to the ruling party of this country . . . a cover of the Dead Kennedy's "Nazi Punks Fuck Off!". As we headed off into the night, bellies full of alcohol, ears damaged by grindcore/metal, & a neck stiff from banging, the one thing that was evident on all the faces . . . the HUGE FOOKIN SMILES - 10/10!

Thanks to Napalm & all the supporting acts fer a fooking awesome show. Fer me mates & meself, a great show to cherish & also help defy the onslaught of old age . . . Again, metalheads (as the bands themselves ably demonstrated) don't grow old, they just cultivate pot bellies!

PS: Please watch the track above dedicated to the United Malays Nazi Organisation above. Cheers!!!


nick m said...

As you said, it was fookin' awesome! I thought Nazi Punks Fuck Off! that weekend was way better than the youtube clip you posted though the crowd there was like wild. Mitch Harris's backing vocals that Saturday was like totally venomous and evil. Had to bring out Meathook Seed's Embedded for a spin as a result. Fatty Shane is on their newer B.I.B.L.E. which truth be told sounds pretty sedated.

premo said...

Napalm Death peeled the flesh offa my face! Moshed to Sil Khannaz and now walk with a stiff neck!! Ah the joys of being a heavy music fan :)