Text & Photos: Charles Nickles
I went to bed at 4am like you do when it’s Friday and a month without a day job has you thinking it would be a real cool time to hang around a bunch of pleather kids slithering around in white drugs and overpriced Tecate while an ailing luminary plays the iPod.
Which makes today a little gristly.
But that’s just fine because it’s bitter fucking cold outside and there’s nothing quite like the smack of an arctic blast to shake a body from it’s torpor. Shit, it’s SO fucking cold outside that I don’t even mind that I haven’t had the wherewithal to change my socks since…Thursday? and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one on this train who can smell my jeans.
But THAT’s just fine because I am on my way to see EYEHATEGOD play St. Vitus in the middle of the day and if ever there was a gig that welcomed greasy it’s this crusher so fuck it.
LET’S STINK UP THE JOINT!
Heavy gruel from MD, I think. Rumor has it this might be there first gig. Good for them. Their name had me hoping for a little War Metal but they’re pretty true to the hateful crossover that grew out of thrash to consume the impudent valor of hardcore. Decent stuff.
HA! Awesome. Low Estate has fucking everybody from Orchid to Sannhet to Red Sparrowes (whose name I always detested) to the creative director for Revolver and unlike many bands that share their vital workings with such revered beasts, Low Estate don’t sound like discombobulated, mid-career garbage. Far from it, actually. Their sound makes perfect sense. It’s the savage amalgamation of the axe and the monolith, the freight train and the fire, the eye-slashing madness of man, ill-tamed and the final, glorious feast of Revelations.
All right, I’ve had a Bishop or two now so I can be straight with you…I never got that into EYEHATEGOD. Got nothing against them, really, and lord KNOWS that I tried. It’s just that I often (if not always) felt that their drugged-up bayou horror blues always stumbled a bit too far into the suicidal ideations of lazy nihilism for my tastes, and though that can be fun when I’m raging at my whiskey dick, it’s not really something I need to live my best life.
But that’s kinda the point, isn’t it?
EYEHATEGOD are a bad-time band and they don’t give a shit what any fool thinks of their bad-time racket. I mean if they wanted to be liked, they could have chosen a thousand different routes, but they didn’t. Instead, they decided to pioneer a disastrous mess of downtuned angst from the ashes of Black Flag’s last stand and let the people call it sludge.
And in their near thirty years (more or less) together, they’ve gotten pretty goddamn good at it, so, of course, folks have taken notice and now they pack a sweaty black box on a Saturday afternoon to drink in the indestructible nature of NOLA’s most prodigious musical assassins.
And fuck me, do they deliver.
Even down one guitar, the band roars through their history with the purpose of a Subway drunk. Hissing. Howling. Stumbling. Growling. Sweating out their sins with a broke-tooth defiance as the machine rumbles on endlessly into oblivion.
But the set isn’t all tumult and screech.
At one point, Jimmy Bower notices a little kid in the audience and promptly gets off the stage, mid riff to shred just for him. When he’s done, they fist bump. The kid tries to play tough through his young metal locks but I think I spy the faint crack of a grin.
His dad, however, is beaming.