So, this weekend I had what I would call my indoctrination into modern metal. It’s one genre in particular that I haven’t paid much attention to admittedly based on stereotype and a few bad examples.

I’ve always had a certain image of metal-heads that I haven’t been able to shake. For the most part, it’s one that is pretty accurate but the music itself is much harder to pin down. Lately, I’ve been hearing more about it and hearing bands that redefine the way I think about it. It seems to me that these days the term metal is about as generic as the term rock.

As I mentioned last post, I went up to Atlanta for the Scion Rock Fest with Matt Burro and Christiana Smartguy (inside joke). It was a free show, but you had to RSVP, and considering the lineup, it was pretty much universally assumed that unless you showed up early and waited in line you ran the risk of making the trip for nothing. Turns out that wasn’t exactly the case and just about everybody that was at least on the waiting list got in. At first I wasn’t even going to go because I wasn’t on said list but as it turned out there was an extra.

I arrived to catch Baroness‘ last chord which I hear was a killer show so I was pretty bummed to miss that. I was able to catch the next act, Boris, and was pretty blown away. It was probably the best band I could’ve seen first because it was right up my alley. Sludgy, stoner-metal from Japan with a smoking hot chick guitar player and the wildest drummer I’ve seen. I then caught Warbringer which was a little bit more what I had expected to see. It was thrashy head-banging complete with circle pit and flying V face-melters. It was entertaining, if nothing else. Then caught the ass-end of Pig Destroyer but I didn’t see enough to make any opinions whatsoever.

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At this point we are all a bit wore-out from the hour and a half sleep we stole the night before in Tallahassee and the five hour drive to Atlanta so we went out to the car to rest, down a beer and make a PB&J. We had planned to catch Neurosis, Mastodon and Zoroaster but the bastards wouldn’t let us back in! They expected us to stay there for the entire twelve hours and eat their shitty food and five dollar High Life. It was fucking weird. That, and they had really strange traffic patterns. If you went outside you couldn’t come back inside without walking the long-way round and their was just a strange vibe to the way they herded us around like cattle to the slaughter. Maybe that was appropriate, I don’t know.

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We left to get some food in Little 5 Points and tried sneaking back in over the fence but got caught in the act. A little inebriated at this juncture I gave the poor security guard a piece of my mind and told him exactly what I thought about their re-entry policy replete with a few choice expletives. I even cursed out the poor girls trying to give us free posters. All that aggro metal I guess.

The next day we made the rounds of Little 5 Points and all picked up some killer new wax at Criminal Records and Wax ‘n’ Facts. Got some tasty burritos at El Myr and Matt dropped off some hip bags and other merch at No Brakes. We were all pretty blown away by all the snow. That and the overwhelming prevalence of Ronnie Land art in the stores and on the streets. I think we all left a little jealous of all the cool shit Atlanta has but I can say that if nothing else, the experience got us talking about why we don’t have that kin of shit here and what we can do about it.

Nothing like a little road trip to gain a fresh perspective.

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