Feb 042014

I have been complaining about this for a few years, that all these Toy Tiger Reunions were all based around Fire Dept (whom I love) and the Eighties crowd that revolved around them, when there was three decades of live music that happened at the Toy Tiger. My point is, there was so much more to The legendary Toy Tiger than Fire Dept.

My generation was the Nineties original metal scene at Toy Tiger. Bands like My Own Victim, Faceplant, Shattered Reality, Rathbone, Shapeless Matrix, Flaw, Drunk Monkey, Luther, Psycho Soul, Inhuman, Paglina, Incursion, and a ton of other bands as well. We had some rip-roaring shows in the mid-to-late Nineties. My goal is to reunite some of the bands for one reunion show. Yeah, I know it will be hard to do, getting bands to reform after 15 years, but I’m willing to give it a try to see if it can be done. I have some doubts because it’s been many many years, and people have kids, careers, wives, or don’t even live here anymore. But if I can set up a decent lineup of these bands, this will happen. I really want to make this reunion happen. It would be one really cool party. But … if bands are lazy and indecisive, then it probably won’t happen. I will be contacting bands very soon to see if it is a possibility to play the reunion, so some of you might be contacted soon!

I plan on having people in the music scene at the time, there to help run/host the show too, people like Black Frank, Louie The Local Guy, Jeff Vernon, Toy Tiger’s Mary Powell, etc..

All the proceeds will go to MERF so we’ll have more money to help people with. And yes, even hardcore, super-fast, brutal metal musicians can apply for assistance! There’s a new MERF in town, and we aim to help all you scalawags, from bluegrass to death metal. I’ll have more news later.

Dec 042013

Wow, what a fun night! Congrats to 93. 1 The Fox and all the good guys there for a wonderful night of Louisville music. It was an old-school show from hell, and I loved it. I saw so many people I knew that I hadn’t seen for a long time. This show was even more packed than my Rock For Kosair show! And that hasn’t happened for several years.

We got there in time to see long time metal veterans Incursion (who have almost been playing Louisville’s scene as long as me! It’s close!) let loose on some brutal, severely down-tuned riffage. Incursion killed as they tore into some of their tunes of the distant past. The sound was pounding and the screams of Van Avery were piercing. That guy can scream really well. I’m usually not into screaming all the time, but for this type of music, Stem and Van work very well together vocally. They had Gezuz on bass, but other than that it was an all original lineup. Those guys don’t play out much anymore, but when they do, apparently they really rip it up. It was good to see such a heavy band on a Gobblestock bill. They sounded pretty darn tight to me, even though they only had one guitarist this time around, Jeremy Roberts. No problems this night though, and while in the past, Incursion has had tuning problems, everything was right on the money this Thanksgiving night. The low tuning and fat PA system made for a thunderous sound in the saloon. It was good to see Nik Houpt kicking butt on the drums again, too! That dude is a beast.

Next up was old school rockers Primer 55. I remember being the first DJ to play Primer 55 on The Fox! This version of Primer 55 is a far cry of the old Primer from back in 1997. The Primer 55 from way back when, was my favorite Primer 55. Guitarist and Primer 55 founder Bobby Burns went on to some fame as bassist for Soulfly, touring the world and seeing things not many musicians get to see. It’s great that our native Kentucky boy has done some great things. The new Primer 55 rocks, too, mind you, but its so different from the old Primer, it almost shouldn’t be called Primer 55. It’s like a whole other sound. Bobby grew up in Kentucky, has lived in Tennessee and now resides in Atlanta. The new Primer features Bobby on vocals as well as guitar. He said he has had trouble with singers, so he decided to do both and get rid of all the drama! That is one tall order. To play and sing at the same time. I have so much respect for Bobby to be able to pull that off. The new stuff is a mixture of hardcore heavy/almost punk to radio-friendly rock. It’s pretty diverse and mixes things up well. Bobby’s voice is great on the heavy stuff, but being occupied with guitar duties may take a little off of the clean singing parts. And he could have used some more vocal effects on the singing parts of this set. His vocals were very dry on this set. Effects would have really set off the vocals on the singing parts! Bobby is one down-to-earth guy and it was so great to see him tearing it up here in Louisville once again. Primer 55 may not sound like the old version of Primer 55, but they are still a very formidable band to contend with! And the new sound will appeal to people who like the heavier music. I talked to Bobby and he said they were heading up north to Fort Wayne after Gobblestock. I wish the best of luck to Primer 55 on their tour!

Next up was Louisville’s own Flaw. I have to be honest with you, with the addiction problems that plagued the band, I never thought these guys would get back together with the original lineup, but it has happened. And they sounded fantastic at Gobblestock. Out of all the Louisville bands that have been signed, I like Flaw the best. The excellent vocals, the rich, textured melodic guitar duo parts, the sweet background vocals and basswork of Ryan Jurhs, the modern drumming of Chris Ballinger, the charisma of Jay Daunt. Flaw is back, and sober! And that, my friends, is a powerful thing indeed. I’ve known these guys forever it seems, especially Lance and Chris from Shapeless Matrix days! The crowd for Flaw was awesome! The Flaw fans were there for the guys and it must have felt great to be Flaw to come back like this, to so many caring and supportive friends in attendance, singing the songs and having a ball. Chris Vols sounded great this night, and didn’t miss a beat. He might have been a tad rusty but it really did not show. He hit the notes and had good range. I really love this guy’s voice, especially in his song “My Letter.” Flaw played a bunch of their classics like “Payback, " “Only The Strong Survive, " “My Letter, " “Whole” and two new songs that rocked, one was very heavy, and the other, “Do You Remember, ” was a very good slower, more commercial song and probably will be their first single they will release of the new stuff, I’m betting. The band had to cram in some practices at the last minute to be able to play Gobblestock on such short notice, but they pulled it off without a glitch. The crowd was very happy to have their favorite Louisville band back in action, and having all original members back – and sober – made a huge difference. Everyone got along and it showed. It was so cool to see so many old friends from the scene of old. Some of these folks never come out anymore because of kids, family, work, getting old, so it was a real treat.

Apr 032013

I frikkin love Fear Factory. I always have liked this different metal band, for their pounding, machine-gun, down-tuned riffs, the melodic vocalizations of singer Burton C. Bell, and the badass double bass drumming. Their songs are well-written and memorable. This band was in its heyday in the late Nineties, but they still are around kicking some serious butt. Their last few albums are very good, and I’m looking forward to seeing them live in action once again, performing some of their newer material. The show is Sunday, April 21 at Diamonds Pub and Billiards. On another note, local metal veterans Incursion (along with Creature Of Exile, The Kobra & The Lotus and Hate Eternal) will be opening the show. Those guys haven’t played a show in a good while, and I’m thinking they will have a good turnout for this event. So be early for the reunion show of one of Louisville’s more popular metal bands in it’s metal history. Do not miss this show!

Feb 182013

By Eddy Metal

I just got a new local CD that I’m anxious to check out.

It’s those wild-ass, crazy mofo’s who used to be in Incursion. Those guys have been all but silent in the last year or two, which is not like them at all. Usually those guys are jamming in some sort of band or other. Apparently, they got sick of lounging around and formed a band called Nine. The band is: Van Avery on vocals, Jeremy Robertson on guitars, Eric Angelini on bass and Nik Houpt on drums. I’m throwing the CD in now! The first song is called “Seven.” Wow. This stuff is pretty cool. It doesn’t remind me much of their former band Incursion, as it has it’s own identity. It isn’t as heavy and dark, it’s more groovin and has more feeling in my opinion. Van’s vocals are wicked on this. The guy has come a long way from back in the day when it was all-out screaming nonstop. He has developed into an actual singer, with several styles thrown into one kalidescope of vocal talent. The high notes and screams mixed with the low growls are memorable and tasty. Nik is a beast on drums! Always has been. Dude is sick!!! I want this MF to lay down some drum tracks to some of my metal riffs. Ha! The guitars of Jeremy Robertson are thick and heavy, but not over-sludgy, like some of the old Incursion stuff used to be. Some of the time I could barely make out notes Jeremy was playing when he was in Incursion, but not now. It’s crystal-clear and groovin as phuck. Jeremy must be getting mellower with age, as he seems to be more into the groove than ever before.

I’m digging this new change. “Crimson Ritual” starts out with some cool singing (yes, I said singing!) that I like very much, plus a slow, oldschool metal riff that cuts like a knife. Gone is the death metal doo-doo, replaced by emotion and power. Yes! Van’s vocals are the best I’ve heard by him, by far.

This recording sets him apart as one of the city’s top hardcore metal vocalists. Scary Uncle guitarist Adam Young recorded this CD at Van’s house with rented mics and stuff, and he did an excellent job! Adam is one cool down-to-earth guy. I liked that guy from the beginning. I love how the guitar isn’t near as intense as before but still hits a home run, regardless. I’m impressed and want to hear these guys live. Hopefully, I can get them booked on one of my shows soon. “She Will Smile” kinda of reminds me of Fear Factory and even some Burton C. Bell, which is a great compliment. Adam Young contributed some Middle Eastern-ish guitar lead on this track. I’m hearing some Morbid Angel guitar influence in “Taste Of Blood.” The drumming in “I’m Not Sic (I Just Want To Kill.)” is just, well, sick!

My favorites on this demo are “Seven,” “Lovelaced” and the entrancing “Crimson Ritual.” I’m glad the guys have evolved into this music. It is an improvement in my opinion. In all aspects of these guys musical skills, vocals, drums, guitars. Now these guys have got to get their chit together soon so they can be playing out by spring or early summer. I will keep you informed on what the dealio is regarding their first show.