CVLT Nation Covers The Power of The Riff 2014
Text and Photos: Adam Murray
EXCEL, GOATSNAKE, XIBALBA, OBLITERATIONS, BAPTISTS, TORCH RUNNER at LOS GLOBOS OCTOBER 15 2014
Pretty smooth night right here for this one. This was essentially the release party for Excel’s Split Image reissue on Southern Lord, as well as a Power of the Riff showcase. As weird, and at times awkward, of a venue as Los Globos tends to be, it never shies away from the heavy, and these days that is all us Los Angelinos can really hope for. Besides, I like my venues to have a creepy edge to ‘em, like when you go use the restroom and you just know that creepy things have happened in there, and most likely still do on a regular basis. Something to be aware of at this venue can be the sauna factor, but someone had the good sense to get the AC pumping early on. Sure, toward the end when the pits were a’ broilin’ it got pretty steamy, but that’s to be expected. Even then, one could still find sweet spots to have wonderful, refrigerated air blowing right on their dome.
There were two rooms – a smallish one off to the side (but not too small), and the main stage. Torch Runner kicked off the festivities in the small room with some nice crusty speed sludge type of stuff. The crowd seemed mostly impressed, but the night was young, so not a lot of commotion in the pit yet. Baptists were next in the big room. Excellent band, drummer’s like a damned hummingbird back there. An impassioned performance from all of them, but vokillist Andrew had an especially tense, dark energy, plus he seemed a little frustrated with something, perhaps the lack of commotion from the crowd save for a small handful. People still enjoyed the set, though, and they showed it in their applause.
Obliterations turnt up in the small room immediately after Baptists finished. This mini-fest managed to have seamless transitions between each band, which is fun. Almost as soon as one band finishes, you can hear the next turning on and up in the other room, and you are forced to decide between a beer or a good spot. Anyway, if “the charts” were still relevant, Obliterations would be tearing them up! These hot pockets delivered a fast, bouncy, bright and energetic set. There was a reasonable commotion in the pit area, but apparently not to singer Sam’s satisfaction. He said something to the tune of (and I’ll paraphrase here) “it’s a sad thing when all the people up in front are fucking photographers.” Couldn’t agree with you more sir! I, myself, try to stay out of the way ;D
Next in the main room, which was fairly packed at this point, was Goatsnake. They played a long, groovy set of their brand of stoney desert sex metal. It’s hard for me to think of it as metal really, more like sludge boogie. Greg Anderson delivered one brown note after another, and finally the ladies seemed interested. I must say I was impressed by frontman Pete Stahl’s boundless energy, belting out the voice tunes, messing with maracas and harmonica, and just jumping and sweating all over everything.
Back to the small room for Xibalba, with their toughened brand of hardcore and breakdowns. The angry angst was felt from the amps. Pennies were picked up, and mills were winded. Finally, Excel took the mainstage like they’d never left in the first place. It took about 3 seconds after the first note was played for the whole place to go into full blown bonker mode. The pit was large, crowded and fast. The divers were firing off the stage like rats from a ship. The front area surged and splurged. It was skate thrash chaos, and it couldn’t have come any sooner. In these days, when nearly every band is a combination of influences from earlier bands, you don’t want to forget who they were. Study your roots, punks n heshers!
Video via Sexthrash69