Saturday, May 4, 2019

Hot Snakes make an astonishing comeback at the Abbey

Posted By on Sat, May 4, 2019 at 8:35 PM

click to enlarge Hot Snakes at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Hot Snakes at the Abbey
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Hot Snakes, Mannequin Pussy and Witchbender, The Abbey, April 30

Deep pedigree, white-hot output and brief lifespan have given Hot Snakes a particular kind of legendary underground cachet. But it’s looking like they’re now making their story even more surprising and interesting with their current postscript.

click to enlarge Hot Snakes at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Hot Snakes at the Abbey
After ripping three impacting albums of driving garage punk in the early 2000s and then calling it a day, they’re now back in the game. A simple return would’ve been historical in itself, and new material would’ve been automatic manna for their fans. However, the fact that they’ve returned from the dead with not just their first album in 14 years but their most powerful one yet is a thing of pure awe.

click to enlarge Hot Snakes at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Hot Snakes at the Abbey
click to enlarge Hot Snakes at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Hot Snakes at the Abbey
On its sonic merits alone, 2018’s Jericho Sirens is a juggernaut. But factor in its historical context and it’s a freak miracle. It’s not just that this searing album defies rust. It’s that its heat-seeking freshness seems something like that mysterious chemistry inside a barrel of bourbon that makes it ripen toward perfection over years while sitting there seemingly inert. And now that mother is being uncorked.
click to enlarge Hot Snakes at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Hot Snakes at the Abbey
click to enlarge Hot Snakes at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Hot Snakes at the Abbey
Live, every ounce of that potency was manifest on stage. Keep in mind that not only did Hot Snakes begin 20 years ago but it was far from the first (or second, or sometimes third) rodeo for these veteran players, so there’s some sort of deal with the Devil going on here.
click to enlarge Hot Snakes at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Hot Snakes at the Abbey
At any rate, they played with a fire as focused as a blowtorch and their noise-cranked punk rock roared with deadly efficiency. It was a clinic in torque and ferocity that could scorch even the best of their young followers. And this triumphant return was proof that Hot Snakes aren’t just back but as essential as ever.
click to enlarge Hot Snakes at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Hot Snakes at the Abbey
The rest of the show was interesting in its own ways. From the start, something was amiss with Philadelphia band and new Epitaph Records signee Mannequin Pussy. It wasn’t the music because those woolly, strapping guitars were on point. It was singer Marisa Dabice, whose voice was so weak that this was in effect an instrumental performance.
click to enlarge Mannequin Pussy at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Mannequin Pussy at the Abbey
click to enlarge Mannequin Pussy at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Mannequin Pussy at the Abbey
Turns out, she had fallen ill, bad enough to force the cancellation of their previous show in New Orleans. She was apologetic but everyone was cool about it, and as previously mentioned, there were those gorgeous guitars.
click to enlarge Mannequin Pussy at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Mannequin Pussy at the Abbey
But misfortune spun a moment when Dabice offered to cede the mic to anyone in the crowd who knew the words to “Romantic.” Well, someone did – audience member Meg Tracy – so she got up and rocked it, if not quite like a professional singer then like a total fucking boss.
click to enlarge Local Meg Tracy with Mannequin Pussy at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Local Meg Tracy with Mannequin Pussy at the Abbey
click to enlarge Local Meg Tracy with Mannequin Pussy at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Local Meg Tracy with Mannequin Pussy at the Abbey
Afterward, Dabice said if anyone knew the next song, “Emotional High,” they could take it. Lo and behold, local (and now I’m starting to think mega-) fan Tracy stepped up again. After that, the in-the-moment guest vocalist just told the band she knew the words to “Denial” so they rolled with it. Orlando may not have gotten a full Mannequin Pussy show but we did get to see 360 degrees of cool.
click to enlarge Local Meg Tracy with Mannequin Pussy at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Local Meg Tracy with Mannequin Pussy at the Abbey
click to enlarge Local Meg Tracy with Mannequin Pussy at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Local Meg Tracy with Mannequin Pussy at the Abbey
Not content to just be a local addendum to a big-name bill like this, Orlando’s preeminent noise-punk group Witchbender came to go eye to eye, decibel for decibel, with the touring bands.
click to enlarge Witchbender at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Witchbender at the Abbey
click to enlarge Witchbender at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Witchbender at the Abbey
click to enlarge Witchbender at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Witchbender at the Abbey
Making their strongest statement yet, the usually five-piece band came blasting as a seven-headed hydra for the first time ever with added muscle on electronics (Flip of Sugarplum) and saxophone (Michael Scotto of Freakazoid). The result was a maximal, stentorian version of their already notable sickness, and it was absolutely flooring.
click to enlarge Witchbender at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Witchbender at the Abbey
click to enlarge Witchbender at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Witchbender at the Abbey
click to enlarge Witchbender at the Abbey - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Witchbender at the Abbey
Follow Bao on Twitter (@baolehuu)
Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Related Locations

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

© 2019 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation