From Iceland — Pulling Teeth...

Pulling Teeth…

Published December 14, 2009

Pulling Teeth…

So, by some bizarre paradox it’s Friday the 13th and it’s as I’m riding a weird and monstrous cloud of joy. Then, amassed aural forces conspire to destroy me. In a bad sense.
    They say never judge a book by its cover. “They” usually peddle books with horrid covers. As do Bömmer. The less said of them the better. Still, few suffered through their set, as few were yet in attendance.
    Plastic Gods are next, and they roar through an astonishing three numbers in around thirty minutes. What a glacial force to be reckoned with. Pushing a deep sediment of sludge through a filter of misery and bong water, these lads are way too young, yet adequately stoned, to be the true originators of the crushing torrent of emotion oozing from the super charged amps.
    Out of Khanate-length drone furious mid-tempo stoner fare will sometimes emerge, drowned in an evil vein of death metal growls á la Johnny Morrow of Iron Monkey. Slow nods of audience heads ensue and generous dozes of THC in the blood stream are a clear advantage to the experience.
    Gone Postal are the bane of pretence. Their shit, particularly with the opening melodious dirge, is best consumed mid-tempo and heavier than a stack of anvils to the chest. Their take on death metal is surely as indefinable as it is middle of the road: while trudging forward the band is pretty epic, but when speeding up they become forgettably generic. By the time GP take stage the venue finally sports a few souls north of embarrassing and as they slowly decimate the crowd these young upstarts sprout a fountain of irreverent enthusiasm. During the catchy slow parts, as with the blastbeating and grinding intervals, their pretty boy singer/guitarist mines vocal veins deeper then Dying Fetus while repeatedly soaring to Jon Chang-like heights of register at the drop of a fucking hat.
    Thus Gone Postal prove to be a veritable high point to a otherwise “meh” kinda night, and accordingly reap some deserved audience reward, somewhat redeeming the show for the slack  performances to follow
    Celestine were one of three bands I had looked forward to seeing that night. The initial wave of Cult of NeurIsis post-metal the band used to revel in has washed away somewhat, leaving room for odd time signature crawl-cum-trots of musical escapades steeped in pure lead and avant-garde forays into the fields of mind-fuck. But disaster strikes early in the form of a snapped bass string and a failing hi-hat clamp, during the mending of which their singer begs beer from various audience-members and cultivates an inept repertoire of stage patter that rhymes well with his total lack of stage presence and his decidedly sub-par vocal performance. The usual hefty weight of a Celestine show proves absent throughout the set due to their tech problems. So does the customary cathartic element as well as most of their feral rage.
    Pulling Teeth are aptly named. The enthusiasm on the local metal chat board went through the roof as soon as the gig was announced, as it usually does for mediocre acts that conform to the outdated m.o. of “trueness” to the adolescent scene kid’s expectation of a band’s belonging to some inalienable brotherhood of hardcore.
    As with every other artist so far, Pulling Teeth are unable to pull anything resembling a tight performance out of a ringer of slow-tempo annihilation-cum-up-tempo irrelevance. Their anorexic vocalist jumps up and down like a just sprung jack-in-the-box, but he— like to the limp tune of his unremarkable ensemble of string benders—agonizes his larynx merely to the waves of untidy, sophomoric riffage that bear little relation to songs, much less any notion of melody.
    Meanwhile, a miniscule vortex of scene kids revolve in a whirlpool of ecstatic circle pit exuberance and forced stage dives explode from non-existing platforms onto a crowd way too sparse for actual surfing.
    Near the end, some pit-loving aficionados of the hardcore ethic grab hold of the singer’s wiry neck and his lithe stature while screaming along into his mic, chord twisted around his neck like a makeshift Jacob Bannon, in response to which the man signals the universal throat cutting sign of halt to his band mates and they un-ceremoniously wrap up a forgettable performance on that note. Good riddance I say, the entrance fee would have been better spent on either the latest Coalesce or Converge albums.  

Sódóma November 13, 2009
Plastic Gods
Gone Postal
Pulling Teeth

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