100 Shows of 2010 - #12: Past Lives/Snack Truck @ DC9, 4/4/10

We've all been to this kinda show. It happens every so often, perhaps a couple times a year, where I go to a show and am totally stunned by the sparseness of the crowd. When I rolled up to DC9 on Easter Sunday, friends, I was gobsmacked (hi, British friends!) by the teensy tiny little crowd assembled for the show. Sure, it was Easter Sunday, but I was totally psyched for this show which means other people should have been, too. Come on now, DC. Get your shit together. Y'all missed one hell of a rock show, I'll tell you that much.

MINI RECAP: Snack Truck = Mind-Liquifying! Past Lives = Head-Crushing! Overall score: A.

Having lived in Richmond for a little while, I was already rather familiar with Snack Truck. I saw them once, at the now-defunct Artist's Underground, and that was enough to make me love them long time. I'll vouch for them as one of Richmond's best bands any day of the week. They're one of the only bands I know of to successfully and kick-assedly utilize the stick skills of not one but two drummers, and watching the two of them have a go as they beat the holy hell out of their respective drum kits is pretty hypnotic. So too is the wailing guitar and furious bass that round out the Snack Truck sound, a sound that is so overwhelming and raging that I couldn't hear myself think about thinking, let alone hear myself think. I'm pretty sure they've gotten louder, too, in the months since I last saw them. Five minutes in my ears were already hurting, but I wanted more. I'm a glutton for such heavenly punishment, this swirling, pulsating mass of sonic energy, brilliant in its deafening, kaleidoscopic noise. They're a band that definitely keeps to Richmond's whole "give me loud bastard rock or give me death" thing. I sing the gospel of Snack Truck, friends, so make sure you check 'em out.

But happily, the awesome didn't stop there. I've been listening the hell out of the new Past Lives record, Tapestry of Webs. I never really got into any of the band member's prior bands (Blood Brothers, Chromatics, Shoplifting, etc.), but damned if I'm not pretty smitten with them now. The song "Paralyzer" in particular gets me all in a tizzy, with the slow burn and fuzzy guitars and shouty vocals. Gorgeous. And addictive. Right off the bat the band sounded totally Ziplock tight, wonderfully angular and slightly dissonant and crushingly loud. At times Past Lives reminded me of one of my favorite, sadly now-dead DC bands Black Eyes: A perfect mix of shouting and rhythm and fierce, fierce riffs. Mark Gajadhar, the drummer for Past Lives, gets major shout outs for his ferocity and thrashing behind the kit. Seriously folks, he's good. But then again, they're all good. Even singer Jordan Blilie, being one of the recently vocally afflicted (I'm gonna blame the pollen count), belted out the songs with vim and vigor. This band absolutely killed it. And yes, my beloved "Paralyzer" sounded as bitchin' as I had hoped.

This show was a doozy, and I'm so glad I took a break from the Easter candy to be there. Friends, go see these bands whenever you can. See them now, ask questions later.

mp3: Paralyzer (Past Lives from Tapestry of Webs)


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