Monday, December 10, 2012

The Sword and Gypsyhawk @ Neurolux (12/6/12)

Among the 150-plus (and counting) posts on this blog, you'll find maybe two or three write-ups on metal or metal-affiliated shows.  A glaring omission when it comes to coverage of Boise's live music scene, I'll admit. It reflects my personal preferences: I'm simply not a big metal fan.  Still, you can't really ignore or downplay metal's place on the musical landscape here.  This show interested me for that reason, but I also just wanted to check out the Sword, whom I've heard on the Neurolux jukebox and liked well enough.

There had to have been well over a hundred people at Neurolux when I arrived.  Scanning the crowd, I saw plenty of your typical metal types--long hair, tats--but I noted quite a few average citizen types as well.  There was also a fair number of women in the crowd.  Just proves my point about how you can't ignore the METAL in this town, I suppose.

I got down to the show too late to catch the first opener, American Sharks, but I saw the entirety of Gypsyhawk's set.  Even if I hadn't seen the Thin Lizzy tattoo on bassist/lead vocalist Eric Harris's shoulder, this Pasadena group's dual-guitar action, rumbling basslines and machine-gun drumming would've been proof enough that they love their 70's metal/hard rock (Lizzy, Molly Hatchet, etc.).  As a guy who's pretty fond of "Jailbreak" and "Livin' After Midnight" himself, that suited me just fine.  Of course, it helped that Andrew Packer and Erik Kluiber both let rip with some suitably face-melting solos.  It helped even more that they had a very healthy sense of humor, as evinced by their lyrics about quantum physics and smokin' dope, their "Black Betty" cover, Harris's dry banter and the Animal doll hanging from Ian Brown's drumkit.

The Sword played soon after Gypsyhawk.  This Austin group's sludgy tempos and droning, pulverizing riffage bore the unmistakable influence of Black Sabbath.  Lead singer John Cronise's voice sounded a touch more vulnerable than Ozzy's, but hell, most anybody's would.  Besides, Cronise had a more than decent wail of his own, and he had Kyle Shutt's shrieking guitar solos to back him up. And as their ZZ Top cover made especially clear, they had a pretty good sense of humor too.  The crowd moved in close, and there was much headbanging and throwing of the horns.  I'd have joined in a bit more often if I hadn't needed to scribble down my notes.  Not quite as much fun as Gypsyhawk but damn good all the same.

You can find info on these groups on Facebook and elsewhere online.

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