All photos and text by Charles Nickles
I was just trying to have some civil piss-off discourse with a friend, the other day, about all the idiots and infidels that populate our industry and she curbed that shit right quick.
“CHARLESON,” she wrote “come to Sunnyvale for a show tomorrow night and we can discuss.”
She sent me the lineup which, admittedly, meant nothing to me and then she sent me a picture of her kid* behind a drum kit looking happier than I have in however many years its been since I first rocked a bowtie and sang at length about my two front teeth.
So, of course, I went to the gig.
Aux Era has kind of a Sunny Day Real Estate drinking Robitussin in the back of AP Calculus fever-dreaming of King Crimson quality that I appreciate, if don’t necessarily enjoy. They’re proggy, emotive and patient and that’s some seriously sweet succor to the right crowd.
Aaaaaaaaaaahhhh YEAH! Now THAT is more like it. You crush me, Somnuri. YOU FUCKIN DO IT! I deserve it and so do you and so does everyone else who is sick and tired of hearing about how Mastodon is still some goddamn acme of heady nug heavy when Matt Pike still lives and breathes. Not that Somnuri is ALL High on Fire or Sleep worship, but they do smoke the ashes of those monoliths something fierce and fucking sweet while forging their own roar with a relentless accord that beckons sludge and doom and the distinct sense of wonder that comes with meeting your face on the living room floor.
I can’t tell if this band is willfully murky or if the smoke machine guy has lost his fucking mind again (remember when he almost killed Genesis?) but I’d like to think it’s the former because my maw’s still slacked with Podunk awe from Somnuri’s barrage which has me shaking optimistic and, besides, I need more windowless van lovers in my life. So, yeah. Let’s pretend these dudes are some toad-lick creeps playing songs of praise for the restless dead with wails and dirge and shadows shoring up the shanti blues, even if they may really be just three dudes sucking diesel trying to forge a better world through Everglade chemistry.
*Though probably obvious, I feel it important to point out that no children were directly involved in this evening’s gig. That pic was just a dog whistle for joy.