Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Monolord's first headlining American tour doubles down on the doom with Beastmaker and Sweat Lodge (Will's Pub)

Posted By on Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 2:48 PM

THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND 
click to enlarge Monolord at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Monolord at Will's Pub
Locally based promoter with statewide influence Endoxa Booking specializes in heavy shows, and the latest turned the stage into an altar to the almighty riff in a doom-dominated, next-wave bill (Aug. 22, Will’s Pub). At the top of the marquee was Monolord, another canal dredger from Riding Easy Records, an under-sung boutique label loaded with neo-vintage heavy-rock bands that got on our radar permanently last summer after they paraded quality acts like Slow Season, Electric Citizen and Mondo Drag on a label tour.
click to enlarge Monolord at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Monolord at Will's Pub
click to enlarge Monolord at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Monolord at Will's Pub
This was Monolord’s first headlining tour of North America and they came with conquering intent, packing the most distilled and funneled grooves of the night. Live, their merge of heavy doom and fat-ass fuzz plays like a groaning mammoth set to meter, with an advance purposefully distilled for pure power and massive dynamics. This crush is for real.
click to enlarge Beastmaker at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Beastmaker at Will's Pub
Before them, Fresno’s Beastmaker laid down retro doom dripping in macabre ‘70s imagery and bearing enough references to the occult to sate a legion of dark nerds. Of course, that means there was lots of pulpy drama. But, luckily, there was enough heft and conviction to make it all legit.
click to enlarge Beastmaker at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Beastmaker at Will's Pub
click to enlarge Beastmaker at Will's Pub - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Beastmaker at Will's Pub
Austin opener Sweat Lodge stood apart and impressed. They, too, are on another exceptional small label, Brutal Panda Records (one of the better curated heavy music labels home to beasts like Whores, Fight Amp, Cherubs, Helms Alee and Mantar). They’re the only non-doom band on the tour, with a proto-metal sound and a name that perfectly signals their evocative ambition.
click to enlarge Sweat Lodge
  • Sweat Lodge
Live, their psychotropic deep dive is a sensory warp of thick echoes, other-side howls and overdriven electricity. And if that nod to the Native American spirit of primordiality wasn’t explicit enough for you, the image of bassist Austin Shockley (who’s also in notable band Warm Soda) rocking the raven braids shirtless will no doubt send it home.
click to enlarge Austin Shockley
  • Austin Shockley
All together, it’s the soundtrack to a hard-rock vision quest conjured by skilled sonic shamans.

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This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.

Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com

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