Tag Archives: The Sword

ALIVE N’ KICKIN’ 2013

Let’s go on with the best of this year.

Checking my daily planner I’ve counted  approximately 46 shows (probably some more I forgot to write down), and 4 festivals attended: Primavera Sound (2/3 days), Kristonfest, Cruïlla, and Siberia. Compared to previous years I’ve been more relaxed this 2013 at the time of choosing which bands to see.

The variety of live shows available in Barcelona is huge lately, hard to cope with, and there are on one hand very expensive tickets for barely 1 hour performances, and on the other hand promoters booking small bands every 6 months which eventually get audience bored. Personally speaking, I reckon those promoters should look after both the bands and the potential audience to start with, assume more risks bringing different bands, and start seeking for sold out shows at less benefit which will ensure bands to feel like coming back and achieve fans loyalty for future shows. Of course I’m not a promoter, and I don’t put my money on the table, but I’ve attended shoes enough as to assure a sold out show for 10 Eur/ticket rules much more than a half empty venue for 22 Wur7ticket, if you understand me. Considering the tight and hard times we’re going through live music must me supported and audience encouraged, and not the other way.

Once this said, let’s talk about my top 5 favorite live shows of the year.

NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE, Àrenes de Nîmes

neil young

The best show for obvious reasons. You never know when it’ll be the last time you will be able to attend one of his shows, plus this time he was accompanied by his pals, as I had seen them the first time in 1996. Promoters in Spain don’t think it’s worth taking the risk bringing him here, thus we had to move our asses to France. The whole experience was tiring yet very cool, as some guys in Girona hired a mini coach for the trip, and 20 people met by chance only moved by our love for the musician. Patti Smith opened for him offering a surprising excellent show, and then the boss came onto stage and made the old stones of les arenes, vibrate with his tunes.

CLUTCH, Music Hall (BCN)

Even though the set list was reduced due to the early curfew imposed by the venue, the atmosphere, the crowd, the band, the attitude and the powerful songs, and of course, the wonderful companion, contribute to turn this show into something memorable. I felt the fan scent I was missing, the passion and the excitement, and I went crazy.

VALIENT THORR, Razzmatazz 3 (BCN)

sadat n nitewish

Every time I see these guys on stage I have a crush, really. They are so powerful and straight and on the other hand so good at interacting with the audience, their shows are a blast. I loved ther previous show in 2012 in Madrid, and this one was excellent. There were some friends who had attended the show just because who finished very enthusiastic about the experience.

THE SWORD, Razzmatazz 3 (BCN)

I was pretty sick of my stomach and had been sleeping 18 hours straight because I felt like shit, so I wasn’t at my best for the show, but as soon as Kyle Shutt started playing his riffs and the crows d started headbanging uniformly as a respond I started to feel better and better and enjoyed lots.

Can’t wait to see them again soon. Here’s their show at the Hellfest few days earlier, so you can get an idea.

ORANGE GOBLIN, Kristonfest (BIO)

chris and toi

What can I say? I’ve attended to their shows since 1998 and always claimed their live act is solid and amusing. Any time I get the chance to see them I’ll be there. I reckon their show at Kristonfest was superior than the previous I had attended years ago at Azkena Rock Festival. No doubt A Eulogy for The Damned has been a great pusher to finally get more recognition and attention, although here in Spain they haven’t been booked for playing at venues yet. A pity.

I can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring up. At the moment there are already several awesome shows ahead: Monster Magnet, Red Fang, The Wildhearts…We’ll see.

 

THE POWER OF A SINGLE

I try very hard not to believe in coincidences. In fact I think that everything happens for a reason, fair or unfair, justified or nonsense. The fact that I’m aware of the existence of a brand new band from Austin hasn’t been by chance. The way I see it it’s more like I was in the right place at the right time.

Today I’ve received the debut album of American Sharks, which was released just two days ago. I was able to listen to it for the first time yesterday thanks to Revolver Magazine.

american sharks

Perhaps, some curious freak like me might be wondering how come I knew about this band when no local media has ever written a review and I shouldn’t have references at least for the moment. Aaaah, friends! Internet has the answer for it, moreover Twitter. I like to think that you can have the world at your hands in just a click. It’s terrific, yet at the same time disturbing, don’t you think? The world has ended being a map of links and connections.

The starting point is The Sword. I started following them after the amazing performance offered in June here in Barcelona. I like Kyle Shutt, the lead guitarist of the band, first due to his talent as a riff master and the style he plays, second for his wonderful blonde hair, and finally because he has one of these friendly and smart faces you feel curious about and want to know further. Because Twitter is the perfect display I started following the blonde boy. Never such  an expression as Curiosity Killed the Cat suited me best. I’ve met lots of people and done weird stuff in the name of curiosity. Sometimes I think I should have been investigator or researcher of anything.

Anyway, Kyle is not a super proactive Twitter user. Seems that the guy is into videogames and sometimes looks for people to play with him online, other times talks about guitars and bands but not so often. But any random evening in August he asked his followers to check a video he had produced, and being very obedient (and curious), so I did. And this is what I found.

What a blast! Not only Overdrive is super powerful but the video is great. I love the party animal spirit and great vibes spread, and the energy of the song is overwhelming. Just one listening and I was delighted, and I started looking for some more stuff now they had awaken my appetite for fun…but there wasn’t stuff available. They are really new on scene and announced the release of their homonymous debut album now in September.

Even though you might not believe it I don’t act according to instant uncontrollable impulses but usually think what to do twice at least. Sometimes it takes lots of thought to decide something, but this time I checked the total amount of the CD + shipping and it was one of these “Whaddahell” moments I purchased it in a  blink of the eye. You know what happens once you get sales confirmation. Doubts always bring out. This time was something like I might be buying a piece of chunk, but the power of Overdrive was so convincing I had to surrender and there was no way back.

Finally I could listen to the complete album on line and I felt relieved as, considering most songs move in the same style and direction, it had very good tunes and high energy and spirits were constant and present in every song. And I discovered another hit which kicked my head again named Indian Man.

Will I ever attend a show of American Sharks in Spain? Who knows…I only hope that since they’re The Sword’s protégées, they might tour Europe together in a not so far future. A bit of mayhem on stage wouldn’t be bad at all.

Thus this is my latest discovery, really an adrenaline bomb, and I’m definitely spreading the word, because we need bands like this one from time to time.

American Sharks band

Well fuckin’ done, punks!

By the way, American Sharks is one of the coolest band name ever. How come nobody thought of it before? Aaaah,  unexplainable mysteries.

ALBUM OF WEEK 30: AGE OF WINTERS

age of winters

There are lots of things we discover by chance. Some people do not believe in coincidences but in the conjunction of elements in life which drive you to be in the right place at the right time. You know, that beer you’re having at a certain pub you seldom frequent and then you meet the woman of your dreams, or that beer you buy because there’s no other remaining at the convenience store and it tastes like Heaven. Perhaps I’m exaggerating in this case, but it’s a funny way to start talking about the way I discovered The Sword. Probably some of you heard of them in the same way, and don’t find it so weird, but I consider it’s worth mentioning at least.

I’m not into videogames. Definitely not. I love pinball machines though, but my interest in videogames lasts 20 minutes average. There are exceptions, of course. Vintage Nintendo’s, games such as Pac-Man or Out Run

Some years ago a videogame managed to convince me of getting one of these Sony Playstation II consoles. I even purchased a dancing mat in an attempt of dancing and doing some exercise so as to optimize the damn machine. By now I’m pretty sure you know which game I’m talking about. Yeah, that’s right, it’s Guitar Hero. I ended up with two guitars, several games including the special Aerosmith and the metal 80’s, but I really focused on breaking stages in order to release blocked songs, had some fun at some parties and very soon my interest was lost. I (we) eventually sold the console with all the accessories.  Sorry dad! It didn’t make any sense to me.

I must admit thanks to this game I recovered some bands I wasn’t listening to anymore and discovered one of my favorite bands, Heart. My ringtone was Buckethead’s song Jordan for years (what a riff!) and I headbanged a lot with a song named Freya.

For many years I forgot about this song and the band The Sword, I even thought it was just a song and that band wasn’t active anymore, and to be honest, never took a minute to check them out years ago. However, several months ago I started seeing promo posters announcing a live show in Barcelona, and all of a sudden The Sword were quite present around me.

Of course, after reading some reviews I decided to give them a chance and started listening to their last album, Apocryphon, quite good actually, and eventually got my ticket for the show. I almost didn’t make it as I had this shitty stomach virus which forced me to spend 17 hours sleeping in pain (imagine, Toi sleeping so many hours, I had to be really fucked up, I hate sleeping more than 5!), and I was feeling weak. But somehow I thought if I was staying at home I’d regret not attending, so I finally moved my ass to the venue. It was an excellent show no matter that some people complained about the band not interacting with the audience at all, and I loved everyone heavily headbanging at the same time as in communion. The execution of the songs and the performance were brilliant.

the sword

Gorgeous Shutt’s heavy and powerful riffs really drove me crazy and same as always, I run to my beloved internet and got me a couple of albums, Apocryphon and their debut, Age of Winters, which includes Freya.

I’m through a riffer stage lately thus I’m truly enjoying this 9 piece album. It’s strange because I don’t consider myself a passionate of heavy metal music, but in Age of Winters there are plenty of brilliant passages, very epic and heavy, but fresh and straight at the same time.

Every time I hear the heaviness of the opening song Celestial Crown I think of Sleep and High on Fire, so stomping and powerful. However Barael’s Blade brings me memories of Wolfmother (I swear!). There are more classic doom stoner riffs and changes as in The March of the Lor, which remind me of Orange Goblin or even Kyuss, with the open cymbals, creating lots of surrounding noise, or the double guitar solos. Cronise on vocals is very special. I hear both Ozzy, Nebula’s singer Eddie Glass, quite far from the classical heavy metal or doom sound we are used to. And then  there is Kyle Shutt. I love his style, his presence on stage saves the band from being motionless as he doesn’t stop moving, and the way he plays transmits a lot (and I love his hair J )But no doubt the hottest hit is Freya. For weeks its riffs have kept on repeating in my head once and once again. Very heavy and very groovie.

I’m glad I didn’t stay at the Hellhouse that night, and I’m totally up to them. Thanks to bands  such as The Sword or Clutch, I’m recovering the interest in stoner and heavier stuff. I don’t think I’ll be digging too deep in the scene looking for 200 little bands with a couple of riffs, but enough as to enjoy the moment while it’s worth it, and check out bands I didn’t pay attention to before, because, yeah friends, in the rock-metal universe there are also hypes, and stoner is one of them.