Sunday, February 25, 2007

Archons, Hostile Combover, Earthless and Om at the Casbah, San Diego February 24, 2007

Wow, back to back posts on gigs! I doubt this will happen again. Despite being located up in San Francisco, this was Om's first time playing in San Diego and I wasn't going to miss it. Going to the gig I knew nothing about Archons and Hostile Combover. I didn't want to do much research on them as to not have any bias seeing them for the first time. Turns out that both are based in San Diego along with Earthless.

First up was Archons, a trio of bass, drums and guitar. Their influences seemed to be from more traditional forms of metal along with it's subgenre of doom. They would trade doom riffs with a more fast style of riffing of traditional metal which made for some long songs that had some nice variations. Their sound reminded me of the recent High On Fire album which has a similar combination of metal influences to it.

Next was Hostile Combover, the second trio of the night. I wasn't quite sure what to expect from a band with such a name and I'm still not sure who they'd compare to. They weren't heavy but have metal-esque riffing at times. They played too slow to be either punk or speed metal. For the most part their songs were long, but they didn't have the dynamics you'd see in the post-rock influenced metal bands. Their last two songs were the best when the guitarist and bassist switched instruments which created a more driving rhythm with their very solid drummer pounding away. He reminded me a bit of Dave Grohl in his style.

When Earthless came on there was more of a buzz in the room. Seems like the audience was really into them unlike the two previous shows I saw them. The played a blistering set as always that when on for a good 30+ minutes. Despite a mic problem on one of the bass amps, this was the finest set I've seen from them. I'm much looking forward to their new albums which is due in April.

Taking their time setting up, the ex-Sleep rhythm section that forms Om finally took the stage. Idiots yelling "Sleeeeep" and "play Dragonaut" peppered their set throughout. While it seemed that everyone showed up to see Om, the audience for the most part didn't seem to be into them. The set started a bit sloppy with the mellower track from their latest album 'Conference Of The Birds'. I thought it was a great way to start the show before getting into the more heavy tunes in their catalog. The wall of amps behind the duo was the largest I've seen in person and the bass filled the room and pounded on your chest, just the way I like it. I think a bigger venue with a better PA might have suited them better. I'm not sure if it was the band not into because the crowd wasn't great or vice versa, but they didn't quite live up to my high expectations for them. Still it was a very solid set and they played all my favorite songs. It was very hypnotic at times when you just close your eyes and forget everything.

So overall it was a great night. I don't think I'll ever go to a gig where actual bands (not solo artists) are playing and have the largest ensemble being a trio.

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