A local doom metal show on a Wednesday night was hosted at The Barbary, a quaint bar venue right across from the significantly larger Fillmore in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia. Attendance was a bit low, likely because it was the middle of the week. I appreciate small, intimate shows, even if they don’t benefit the venue too much!
Endless Teeth from Clementon, NJ commenced the show. The three piece band says their post-hardcore on their Bandcamp profile, but they played mostly sludge metal material during their set. Maybe because they were lumped into a doom metal show? Regardless of labels, they played a set of contemplative, moody tracks, with a healthy slab of doom.
Space Caravan from Phoenixville, PA was up next. The band was a brew of early Sabbath, Sleep, and a bit of Motörhead. I like how prominent the bass was in the mix, on par with the volume of the guitar, allowing them to be equals instead of the bass just being in the background. At one point, I recognized one of their riffs, and I thought they were playing a cover. I then realized it was actually borrowed from a Ruby the Hatchet song. I later noticed another song that borrowed a lick from an Acid King song. In both cases they weren’t taking them note-for-note, but they were pretty damn close. There have been times in the past where I thought I created something, but then realized I subconsciously took it from somewhere else. And I understand that everything has been done before and ideas and concepts get repurposed all the time, but it was a little too blatant for me. I dug the band, but maybe a little more originality next time!
Moons was up next, fittingly playing after a band named Space Caravan. This is the fourth time I’ve seen these guys and they get heavier each time I see them. That’s in part due to them changing their tuning, as guitarist Jordan Baro told me at the show, but their newer material is simply more crushing. They have an Electric Wizard vibe on some of their tracks, which can only be a good thing. My favorite number of their “Oceans,” kind of sounds like an early Saint Vitus song. Regardless of their influences, these lads have constructed a wonderfully fuzzy, doomy, and melodic soundscape. This was also the release show of their debut EP, Friday the 13th. Solid stuff man.
Next up was instrumental power trio Bassoon from Brooklyn, NY. Right from when they started playing, I knew I was in for something different. They had an unique prog/doom hybrid that just worked well. They constantly when into strange dirges with a very fat chugging bass, piercing keys, a mean guitar, and a constant flow of drums. They had sheet music on stage from one number in particular, something I haven’t seen before at a show. Despite some mishaps here and there, they played a unique set of colorfully dark music. Definitely adding them to my “need to get familiarize myself with” list in my head.
Finishing the night was the bass/drum duo Heavy Coughin. I’ve seen them a couple times in the past, and man they kick ass. I love it when bands can give a lot with only a little, and they certainly deliver, with frontman Les Schultz constantly switching his bass tone with different pedals. Sometimes a good old bass guitar is all you need! I dig their punk mixed with stoner metal approach with mind-bending spacey tracks like “Sacred Herb” and on the flip side, fast-paced slammers like “Easy City Woman”. Their newer material is also killer, can’t wait for an official release. There’s a lot of grit and dirt in their soundscape, which only adds to the likeability. And I’m not usually one for harsh vocals, but I dig them here. I suppose they feel more digestible than most.
All five acts played admirably despite there being only ten to fifteen people in the audience outside of people playing in the bands. Now I have a couple more locals acts to look out for – always a great thing.