Opening the show was the young punks from Ukiah known as, R4ID. The self-described, “Turd Punk,” dudes never fail to deliver that radiant hardcore punk attitude. I saw these guys a couple times over the summer and this time they would be joined by their new singer Clayton King. R4ID started their set off with just the original three members Daniel Young on drums, Phoenix Lewis on bass/vocals and Boden Vogus on guitar. Right away the band tore into a tidal wave of angry sounding classic punk jams to kick off the night. The people in the front row of the stage were really rocking out to the music’s overall unapologetic punk vibe. The drum sound and bass tone were well mixed, however, I wish the guitars could have been a bit louder. Still, that did not stop Boden from striking the chords with pure aggressive force and putting on a solid performance. When Clayton joined them onstage the band really came alive and I think the addition definitely adds to the band’s sound. Overall, the stage presence from the entire group was strong and I cannot wait to hear what they have down the road.
Taking the stage fourth and hopefully deviating from the karate dancing was, Cyborg Octopus. This East Bay progressive metal outfit really explores the different musical thresholds available to them. Dressed up like characters from Scooby-Doo, the band began their set with some latin sounding dance music and then transitioned into a more modern progressive metal sound. They are very talented musicians who go outside the box on occasion to where you never know which direction their music will go. The saxophone player was really getting into the music and at times he was headbanging with great enthusiasm to the riffs. I noticed the fans were having a difficult time figuring out when to mosh, because one guy was doing his karate in the pit crap while the band was playing a more smooth jazz composition. Overall, their set was solid and entertaining with regards to some of the crowd members.
After Cyborg Octopus wrapped up their unique sounding set, Predation, cranked up the volume and unleashed some riffs of brutality. The few times I had seen Predation before were unfortunately plagued due to poor sound quality. Tonight was a lot better, because the band sounded unbelievably solid during their set. Plus, vocalist Phil Bassini performs with great passion to where even though I am not a massive fan of their style of music, I find myself interested due to his delivery and stage presence. The riffs were brutal and thanks to that wicked guitar tone I thought the band definitely delivered a strong performance. It goes to show what can happen when the sound guy and the band are able to figure out the most optimal sound.
What band we up to now? Oh yeah number six, Wolf King. This trio of blackened hardcore riff crushing maniacs put on one extreme set. They did not need a bass player as their guitarist, drummer and singer formula proved to deliver quite the impact on the crowd’s ears. Very relentless and vicious sounding compositions that contained simple structures, yet powerful moments of distorted expression. I felt like you had some recycled and generic compositions at times, but the band’s passion and energy seemed to carry them a lot during their set. People were headbanging along and the reaction after each song was positive.
Finally, the band celebrating the release of their new album, Thought Vomit, started their set with an enormous roar from the audience. Everyone made a push towards the stage as the band began their first song. Guitarist Chris Meyer and bassist Jordie Hilley hammered madly away at the main riff, while drummer Clay Prieto handled the main rhythm with ease from the behind the kit. Singer Spencer Clark came out and as always poured endless amounts of energy into his onstage performance. Playing mostly new material the musicians in Thought Vomit put on one stellar and enthusiastic set. Probably one of my favorite songs during their set was, “Glad to Lose.” The crowd seemed to be digging the song as well and the pit kept growing throughout the piece. Later during their set the band was joined by Abby from X-Method who contributed a strong vocal performance. Abby was not the only person who joined the band up onstage. A fan with a chicken mask showed up and started rocking out with the band. In conclusion, Thought Vomit sounded brilliant and the crowd seemed to maintain an amazing level of energy during each of the band’s songs until the end.
Thought Vomit featuring Abby from X-Method