THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
I talk a lot about focus
here. It’s one of the criteria I respect most in not just art but in all human endeavor. By that metric alone, Earth
should probably be in the hall of fame because probably no other band has mapped the depth and nuance of the riff
as creatively and comprehensively as these legendary drone-metal minimalists.
Choosing Orlando again as their only Florida date
(Sep. 2, Will’s Pub), the venerated Seattle band returned to a capacity congregation ready to be tranced. What these seekers came for are Earth’s famously heavy sonic trips, which are anything but the typical song arc. They’re barely lyrical and not especially musical. But in experiential terms, it’s pure hypnotic sensation.
Live, they alter perception more convincingly than some drugs I’ve taken. Planetary rotation feels like it tangibly slows once they begin. You start to feel incrementally descending changes – first to your consciousness, then to your physiology. This all sounds like total sweat-lodge babble
when I read these words at my desk the next day but, trust me, it was very real
in the moment. Buddhists have their meditations, metalheads have Earth.
Tilling some equally rare soil was opener Holy Sons,
the personal project of Grails’
Emil Amos. In a wondrously narcotic set, they struck an intriguing and improbable balance that piles deep sonic heft onto ideas that are otherwise atmospheric and spacious to astonishingly natural result. Droning and soulful in thick blues abstraction, it was an emotionally transporting headspace
that rolled like a boulder in slow-mo.
Although they need a few more practices, local opener Secret Tracers
is definitely onto the right idea. Merging psychedelic doom
with some garage bite,
they’re game to drop a kind of heaviness that no one around here is currently doing. If they can dial it in a little more, they’ll be a force.
This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.
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