Ether Feather, Deathchant, Here Lies Man At The Resident, Thursday July 5th 2018
There are so many types of metal that bands keep exploring the genre in all its incarnations,… on Thursday night, the Resident downtown LA was hosting 3 bands which were all heavy on the riffs.
Although Ether Feather took their name from a Captain Beefheart lyric, they started right away with hefty material and kept going with a surprising style, a pounding, doom-style slow drumming combined with grungy, prog-rock or even psychedelic escapes, followed by fast accelerations… and this weirdness was probably the Captain Beefheart in them. Their set was loud and all-powerful, and their blend of heavy metal, light vocals by drummer Dylan Ryan (Cursive, Fatal Jamz) could go from slow headbanding to fast jazzy acceleration thanks to Devin Hoff (Yoko Ono, Cibo Matto, Julia Holter), bassist Billy Mohler (Macy Gray, The Calling) and Tim Young (Reggie Watts Late Late Show band, Wayne Horvitz). A few yers ago, the band started with the moniker Sand, and went on releasing two instrumental albums on Cuneiform Records and touring with Minus The Bear and Cursive, before going full metal, adding vocals and writing new songs, recorded by Mudrock (Alice Cooper, Lou Barlow, Godsmack), With song titles such ‘The Falconer’, ‘Kiss The Earth’, ‘Interstellar’, ‘Haggard Hawk’, and a self-released EP ‘Other Memory’, Ether Feather are planning to release their debut full length this year, in a style they call themselves psychedelic proto-metal.
The next band was the recently-formed Deathchant, which certainly showed heavymetal components but also a loud ‘70s element. The guitar-driven quartet played a pedal-galore set with plenty of strident distortion, and the music could go from bulky riffs combined with ghostly and cavernous vocals, to propelling psychedelic rock with a throbbing appeal. A few songs were truly venturing in noisy distortion with heavy loaded guitars and suddenly high-pitched melodies escaping the psychedelic fury. Deathchant is part of the LA heavy-psychedelic-freak family, an always growing community, including Flying Hair, Ragweedvision, Babylon, The Birth Defects…
Here Lies Man was headlining the night with probably the most intriguing sound of the night, first floating between genres, then affirming its heavy side while you could hear an undeniable exotic element. The band, affiliated to Antibalas and led by Marcos Garcia, has managed to incorporate Afrobeats into heavy metal powerful riffs, and the result was often close to metal, layered with bluesy guitars and intertwined with West African repetitive lines and long psychedelic jams. It was a meandrous sound, going into complex and amped-to-the max rhythmic detours, to unique sounding instrumental with sparse vocals and the help of a keyboard.
After releasing a self-titled debut album last year, Here Lies Man have a new one, ‘You Will Know Nothing’, and if they played a lot from this new one (‘Animal Noises’, That Much Closer To Nothing’, ‘Summon Fire’, Taking the Blame’), the psychedelic ambiance stayed all fuzzed out till the end, with a relentless Afro-psychedelia… And I may hear them again as Here Lies Man are part of Desert Daze’s 2018 lineup.