Posted January 24, 2014 by Portland Live in Miscellaneous

Under the Bridge: This Week on the Scene // 1-24 thru 1-30



Toxic Holocaust // Fri. – 1-24 // Branx
The one man thrashy/speed metal/death punk project of Joel Grind has been turning heads and ears for over a decade now as Toxic Holocaust, and his latest release Chemistry of Consciousness certainly doesn’t disappoint. As with most of Grind’s albums, no time is wasted in bringing the speed and volume to your unsuspecting ears, his guttural growl being just barely intelligible over careening riffs and blast beats. This will be the third show of their tour with fellow hesh heroes Exhumed, Ramming Speed and Mammoth Grinder. Definitely not one to miss.

Tonen // Fri. – 1-24 // Firkin Tavern
Tonen is what science-fiction sounds like. Well, maybe if you were rolling joints in space with the pages of science-fiction books but I digress. The three piece uses synthesized grooves and spaced out layers of guitar twangs and bass riffs to make a very unique sounding, stoney foundation of improvised music. Their latest release Kosmischen Benommenheit is filled with long, foreign named, star-gazing songs that are easy to get lost in and even easier to enjoy. Their live show is interesting and laid back, just like their music, and if you are a gear nerd like me it’s quite a treat to see what these dudes have behind them. (also playing: Sorta Ultra, The Vernor Pantons, Natherfriends)

The Ax // Sat. – 1-25 // The Know
The first time I met the Ax’s lead singer/guitarist Chris Pierce, he came into my bar and we were bullshitting about music for upwards of half an hour before I learned that he was in one of my favorite Portland bands. The next day we traded some records and I became even more of a fan of their heavy stoner hits. Their album Fossils of Our Kind is a non-stop head banger from start to finish, and with their recently acquired bassist, their live show is harder and heavier than ever. (also playing: Deadkill, Cougar)

Swampbuck // Sat. – 1-25 // The Foggy Notion
When I went to check out Swampbuck at the Know a few months back, everyone that I mentioned it to got real wide-eyed and said, “Dude Swampbuck.” Usually when bands get that sort of reaction from people, they tend to be my kind of band. Sure enough, Swampbuck was definitely the highlight. The three piece puts up some sort of homemade forest camouflage back drop before taking off their shirts to reveal black and blue and green camouflage paint all over their torsos. Cut to the singer who has nothing but a fur loin cloth and an immense head dress complete with antlers and a faux (?) deer head. Oh, did I mention they play some sort of swampy post punk death surf music that absolutely kick ass too? They fucking rule, and with local freak rockers mARMITS on the bill, this one is going to be talked about for a while. (also playing:The Fabulous Downey Brothers)

Autistic Youth // Sun. 1-26 // Star Bar
Autistic Youth play that kind of punk rock that’s impossible not to sing along to and shove the person next to you. Loud, fast, angry and downright dangerous with a helping of raw talent and a slab of guts and gusto, this quartet’s slogan is “Portland punk a decade deep.” With a new 7″ on the way from legendary local punk label Dirtnap Records and a European tour on the horizon, Autistic Youth are looking at a rad year. Here’s to another decade of punk, gents! (also playing: The Estranged)

Wormbag // Mon. – 1-27 // Valentines
Wormbag are loud and not afraid to take their jangly punk noise right up to your doorstep. Their stage presence is inspiring and untouchable. The raw energy the three piece have is palpable and impossible not to notice, with their singer/guitarist in the crowd half the show and the rhythm section sweating on their instruments and plowing through song after song. Check these dudes out and remember what music was about originally: having fucking fun. (also playing: Putts, Sioux Falls)

Fake Beach // Thu. – 1-30 // East End
Fake Beach’s sound could be described somewhere in between punk and indie/art/pop, but genres are for the birds. Singer/guitarist Rober Tis leads the group with a well used Danelectro 6-string that rips over his vocals, which bounce, break and shake over guitar heavy punk anthems, hooky riffs, power chords and wicked breakdowns. Fake Beach have limitless potential and their live set showcases a band that Portland could use a lot more of this year. (also playing: WNBA Jam)


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