Clubber Lang, Antiseptic + Batshelter at Geno's, April 10
Ah, Batshelter. What exactly are they? Punk, metal, a little of both, or something far more complex? Whichever, they've developed quite the following in the past few months. Favoring brash, pawnshop-approved tones over maximum-gain crunch, their sonic imprint shares more with The Minutemen or Dead Kennedys than Iron Maiden or Slayer. The songs, however, show an even broader range. "Necklace of Skulls" veers from lumbering doom to a galloping, dual-guitar assault and back again, while "Japanese Zero" wouldn't sound out of place on a Ventures record. As easy to enjoy as they are hard to classify, Batshelter's intense, quirky music is quickly becoming a live staple in Portland. Check them out at Flask Lounge with I, Barbarian on April 23.
Antiseptic are another tough band to describe. Highly eclectic, certainly with pop influences, but definitely no pretensions. Even at their most fluid and atmospheric, there's an abrasive quality to Antiseptic's songs. Demanding attention, these aren't songs to be enjoyed passively. Their live show is similar, with the band lit primarily by swirling, multi-colored lights. Combined with the music, it made for a mesmerizing, almost disorienting experience.
Taking the stage late, newcomers Clubber Lang's short set was punctuated by technical difficulties. Featuring members of the now-defunct Eldemur Krimm and Supersoul Challenger, the band show a lot of promise. Hopefully, their next set will go a little smoother.
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