2013 Wolves, County Bucks, Richard Parker, Salted Slugs
Aug. 18, 2011
The Deal: After first experiencing Salted Slugs at Do Work Fest, I knew I would be at their next show. Although it was far away, I marked my calendar for August 18 and watched an intense show progress in its booking. Richard Parker, 2013 Wolves and County Bucks, featuring Mark Deutrom, formerly of the Melvins, on bass were all added to the bill. Although we were all excited to see our local acts, word on the street was all in the absolute favor of seeing County Bucks, who have a fierce reputation but tend to attract the nerds who grew up obsessing over the Melvins. I can't lie, I was really stoked for the same reasons. I had a night of fantastic jams ahead of me, predicted to be so fantastic that it was almost overwhelming.
The Good: Salted Slugs opened the night with a set that was nothing short of my approval. Their contemporary version of '90s grunge throwback brings me back to my roots and reminds me of where my self-driven musical exploration began. Philip's voice, to me, sounds so close to Daniel Johns of Silverchair it's almost unsettling (in a good way, of course), while their music sounds like some sort of well-melded hybrid of Mudhoney and the Butthole Surfers. Anyone who is a fan of this era will delight in the contemporary fix available to us today in original form. Seriously, you need to check these guys out.
Richard Parker immediately caught my attention with their interesting set-up. Their vocalist and bassist dominated the floor in front of the stage in what seemed like an attempt to make room for the rest of their band: three guitarists, a drummer and another drummer without a full kit that also doubled as a keyboardist. They played powerful melodic, multi-layered tunes as their singer screamed perfectly with symbol crashes in between delicate solos, singing the slow numbers. He fell into the crowd who were soaking up the well-composed beauty they were experiencing. In two months, these boys will be releasing a 7” split with Mon Frere; I highly recommend that you save your pennies and come to its release because I firmly believe these dudes will sound stellar on vinyl.
With beautifully heavy bass lines, guitar that held a southern flare with intricate solos amidst perfectly executed drumming and deep, delicately raspy vocals, County Bucks brought everyone to the stage, grinning and getting down, cheesing out to the flavorful, raw jams tossed our way. From slow to speedy and intense, these three sick-ass musicians almost brought us to tears as they made me feel as if I was sinking deep into warm muddy pits of pounding musical bliss. Delicious, they took the words right out of my mouth as they described themselves jokingly. They truly are a perfect musical gourmet meal with every possible course and flavor you could possibly crave. I could've listened to their music and their Spanish jabber in between songs for hours.
Neal said it best as 2013 Wolves took the Casbah stage — why in the hell would Buck book such a bad-ass band to come before the best? As if my face hadn't been melted enough, Neal and Bobby began melting it to pure bone as they played one of the best sets I've ever seen them play. Despite Bobby's exhaustion, as he had played for three hours previous at the Whitewater center before his journey to the real west side, he took out his aggression on his drums, pounding away as they chimed in vocals and Neal fucking broke it down on his guitar, falling to his knees and getting in Bobby's face. Pumped and exerting every bit of passion in his body, Neal encouraged Bobby as he attempted to throw in the towel mid set, forcing him to suck it up and continue, even though technical difficulties created a frustrating situation. As the crowd reached its all-time rowdy and cathartic moment of the night, the energy became reciprocal and we all banged our heads in absolute bliss to jams familiar and new to our ears.
The Bad: Other than the minor technical difficulties that caused Bobby Childers to get a little bit whiny (which he made up for later in the night with his generosity and hugs) I'm pretty sure there was nothing of this “bad,” I must speak of.
The Verdict: I cannot complain about this show one bit. I needed the cathartic release it provided and truly couldn't have asked for better booking and performances. My hat goes off to you, Wyley Buck, it was a marvelous bill. Although I was a bit worried about people coming out just to see the infamous Melvins bassist, that didn't seem to be the case. People were truly into what they were experiencing and we all came together as one intense group of satisfied onlookers. I cannot stress how awesome all of these bands are and must encourage you to check them out. I seriously doubt you will be dissatisfied.