Published Mar 14, 2009Flown in for a single parachute date by the venue, Witch were a gamble that split the city's living as Edmonton's demigod Faunts played on the other side of town for half the price. Still, the dark, pew-less cathedral was wing-to-wing, this greying band of heavy hammerers clearly and forever in love with the early metal experiment.
Visually, we deduced this by the same upward, anti-shoegazer grins on their faces as Bison and all the other metal bands who do it here for the right reasons, singer Kyle Thomas naturally plugging into the city's hoser soul down to his ball cap. Out loud and live, Witch (pictured) manifested an almost devolved position of groove-driven proto-metal, the kind of stuff Ozzy moved away from as he ultimately married poppy, "Perry Mason" synth.
Here, though, head-banging was mandatory stuff. In other words, they summoned plenty of tribal Sabbath, no swaggering coincidence if you look at the creepy debut album covers and sorcerous subject matter of both bands.
When you have basically one record of band-specific material, you're going to hit most of them, as they did on thunderous rumblers like "Spacegod" or "Old Trap Line" dragged out into long epic poems, J Mascis finally finding intra-band peace behind his tinny kit.
From a distance, the headliners seemed maybe a bit decadent - but why stand far away at any such show? Having said this, (and I swear: no homerism) the Get Down out-thrashed Witch with a tidal wave of merciless, blinding rock; though, of course, the night's positives were cumulative. The duo Twin Fangs, about to be at least inconvenienced by Penny Tentiary's move to Vancouver, also played with boss monster intensity.
We wanted it loud and powerful - rhythmic got thrown in as a bonus. North side forever.