Saturday, November 8th Recap
All of the shows that happen at The Oasis are good. That being said, there are some shows that simply come together and approach musical perfection. Saturday, November 8th was such a show. Not only were all of the musicians mind-blowingly talented, but they were also all class acts. All the artists showed up on time and stayed to watch, support, and listen to each other. It was the kind of night that ended all too quickly, and will never be forgotten. What follows is a feeble attempt to recapture the utter brilliance of the night.
The Roarer- EJ Singson’s (aka The Roarer) talent is in direct proportion to his talent. His style is hard to articulate, it challenges listeners, especially if those listeners are fellow musicians. To paint a picture of his set up, it includes a host of different looping and sampling devices that I cannot even pretend to understand, and to top it all off he plays a combination double neck bass/guitar (both with equal proficiency). His sound is comprised of a thoughtful mix of bright, clean tones, relentless tapping, and more loops than you favorite fruity breakfast cereal. The amount of thought and vision that goes into his music is staggering, and the best part is how profoundly humble he is. It is a distinct honor and privilege to have him play at this venue and an even larger distinction to write on his behalf.
Becoming The Lion- Multi-layered and intellectual instrumental rock. This band bends and blends genres seamlessly into something that is truly greater than the sum of its parts. BTL employs elements of space rock, metal, and math rock and fuses them into something that is both complicated yet accessible. Theory-heads will appreciate their song structure and musicality while the recreational listener will get lost in the many layers of awesomeness. Thrumming bass carries the rhythm while the drums bang out complicated polyrhythmic bits and the guitars come together to create and texture the melodies. If you haven’t already done so, check out their ep, Automa, download it from Bandcamp now and prepare for a mind-blowing listening experience.
Gradient- Add a lead singer/screamer to BTL and you have hardcore/metal heavy hitters Gradient. Gradient is a virtual buffet of heavy subgenres. Their sound is both raw and thoughtfully dynamic, but brutally heavy the entire time. Structurally speaking, Gradient utilizes slow, sludgy buildups that eventually give way to gloriously brutal breakdowns that will have you banging your head whether you want to or not. Tonally, the members of Gradient pay attention to balancing and dialing in the guitar and bass amps to create a true soundscape that listeners feel in their chest as well as hear in their ears.
American Arson- This two person powerhouse boasts MASSIVE sounding guitar achieved by playing one guitar through three different rigs. I am not well versed enough in gear to understand exactly how his rig works, but I know that it makes me want to learn more. American Arson’s sound is defined by soulfully soaring vocals (with just the right amount of grit), pummeling drums, and roaring distortion that colors the in-your-face guitar riffs. Their performance was high energy, visceral, and raw. Their sound is some kind of cross between Local H and The Receiving End of Sirens, but completely original. Besides the amazing songwriting and performance, the best part of American Arson is that frontman, Evan, embodies the ideology of local music scenes nationwide, if not even worldwide. American Arson’s music is not just notes strung together, every note and word has real meaning and it was an honor to have them at our venue.
Thira- Industrial groove metal that sounds like Ramstein and Meshuggah had a love (or hate) child who is super into djent. Thira’s sound and image are equally jarring, intriguing, and wholly infectious. Thira’s stage garb included five different “characters” that seem to be from some type of post-apocalyptic steampunk scene, or perhaps an entirely different reality altogether (debate at your leisure). Musically, an eight-string guitar delivers brain rattling chugs and oddly timed riffs, while the fuzz laden bass and drums brutalize your midsection. I have never witnessed another band explore the space on the stage in such a vigorous and effective way as Thira did. Their energy, sound, and stage presence makes them hard to ignore and impossible to turn down.