maandag 24 februari 2020

Bailjack, Horehound, and Foehammer - Live at The Pocket, Washington


Bailjack, Horehound, and Foehammer - Live at The Pocket, Washington, DC Feb 21 2020

Hailing heavy things to come from recently opened venue The Pocket, local outfit Blind Corner Productions curated a "Sludge Night" that was not to be missed. Featuring Bailjack, Horehound, and Foehammer, the sets were a showcase of different flavors of doom, each act heavier and different from the last. First up were Bailjack from nearby Boonsboro, Maryland, fresh off last month's excellent SPRING LP and sounding as tight as can be. Flawlessly fusing funk, soul, doom, and classic rock, the quartet grooved through hip-shaking cuts, smattered with heartfelt three-part vocal harmonies and raging solos that flowed seamlessly together. Highlights included the upbeat "Already Rotten" and bouncing "Soul Raptor", which had even the hairiest of heshers putting a little spice in their step. Backing it all up was a six-string bass that held down a groove like no one's business, joining in the fun as all three strings played separate lines over whirlwind drums. 

(PS: be sure to check out members' other outfits BYRGAN (doom) and The B&O Railroad (bluegrass) for more audio pleasure.)

Second up were Pittsburgh's sludgers Horehound, who cranked up the heavy with heaps of atmosphere and emotion, combined with a bottomless low end and crush that made for a rare and impressive balancing act. Leading the four-piece's charge was the thunderous basswork, moving and flattening the crowd in equal measure. Once the guitar lended its crunch and the impeccably timed pounding drums joined in, there was no stopping the train of doom. Not to be outdone, the icing on the cake was Shy Kennedy's vocals, a beautiful, eerie falsetto that turned on a dime into hair-raising gutturals. Cuts from both 2018's Holocene and 2016's self-titled were present, including standout "L'appel du Vide" whose monstrous thrust that swept up the crowd with riffs that could've gone on for another hour to no complaints.

An appropriately weighted anchor for the night, two-piece Virginia locals Foehammer lived up to their name and just about brought The Pocket crashing down around them. Sporting a monolithic 3-tiered pedalboard, guitarist/vocalist Jay churned out funeral paced slabs of riffage, while skinsman Ben tore his no-frills kit apart in savage bursts of speed between the plod and nod. The resulting wall of sound was a physical force that entranced all with its weighted drone, aided by growled vocals that could have come from the pits of Mordor itself. The entire set was one giant helping of doom and gloom that was met with cries for more upon its finish, and it was easy to see why. Not merely a display of sheer power, the emotion and conviction the duo poured into their music was readily apparent, gifting all present with a beatifully crushing end to a night of top-tier heavy.

(Written by Shastabeast)






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