Most people don’t think of Portland as a heavy metal town, but it has all the hallmarks of one. There are plenty of locals being loud and destructive, and every week there is always a strong contingent of touring bands coming through.
Louder! Faster! Heavier!
Most people don’t think of Portland as a heavy metal town, but it has all the hallmarks of one. There are plenty of locals being loud and destructive, and every week there is always a strong contingent of touring bands coming through. Below are The Vanguard‘s recommendations for this weekend, with bands ranging from robot-fueled death metal to droning Japanese psych-dirge. Get earplugs. You’re going to need them.
THURSDAY: Captured! By Robots
Generally, it’s a good idea to stay away from metal bands with a shtick. Overdone stage costumes and attitudes often eclipse the music for these bands (I’m looking at you, GWAR), and as a result, they just plain aren’t good. But, if you can overlook mediocre music, sometimes the stage show can be enough. Such is the case with San Francisco band Captured! By Robots. The concept here is that a group of robots have captured and enslaved a human and decided to make death metal. The stage show is composed of animatronic robots and one dude (referred to only as JBOT). Honestly, the music sucks and is basically standard death-metal with programmed drums. But the concept and execution is so undeniably hilarious that it doesn’t even matter. Also playing is Klingon (as in Star Trek) metal band Stovokor. So if you like metal with weird geeky jokes, be sure to check this show out.
$10 at Ash Street Saloon, 8 p.m.
FRIDAY: Boris (with Michio Kurihara)
Boris is a really weird band. They’ve released records with various sonic-motifs including doom, sludge metal, drone-noise and boogie-rock. While most of their records are consistently good, the band avoids a consistent sound. So when they announced they were making a record with Japanese-psych guitar hero Michio Kurihara, it wasn’t surprising. Out of that collaboration came Rainbow, an album that is, compared to the rest of Boris’ discography, somewhat mediocre. The guitar playing is unreal and impressive, but the songs and singing really aren’t that interesting. Live, however, Boris should deliver the goods, especially with Kurihara in tow. Expect a huge guitar sound and the display of some amazing chops. It will also be interesting to see how Kurihara adds to other Boris material not found on Rainbow.
$12 at Dante’s, 9:30 p.m.
SATURDAY: Red Fang
Red Fang kicks ass! Seriously. The Portland band’s meaty riffs and head-bangeriffic music is undeniably sweet. And their live show is solid and energetic. At a recent performance as part of MusicfestNW, Red Fang rocked a packed house at Dante’s. Their sound on their first demo and most recent tour EP brings to mind other Northwest heavy-rock bands such as the Melvins and Big Business. The songs are catchy in a really direct, AC/DC sort of way, but instead of singing about big balls, they sing about cooler topics-like “birds on fire” and things that “will erase the human race.” Epic. Guitar-action ready, Red Fang is exactly what your Saturday night needs.
$5 at 15th Street Pub (109 W. 15th St., Vancouver, Wash.), 9 p.m.