MURDERBUNNY RECORDS APPRECIATE THE SCENE FESTIVAL - FULL CONCERT REPORT
From time to time I’ve mentioned on this blog that the Chattanooga music scene is largely composed of shit - tired shit, worn out shit, white rapper shit, un-listenable shit, and just…general excrement. Despite these sentiments, I still wanted to turn up at this show to support two of my closest friends, Robbie and Justino, who are the respective vocalist and bassist for art-metal act Hellmouth. There was a lot of unfortunate drama surrounding Saturday’s events, but I’ll be a class act and omit the bad parts. Let’s just get to the music:
The first band up was Royal Orleans, a “heavy garage” four-piece from Murfeesboro. They were the only act that wasn’t native to the Chattanooga/North Georgia area, but they blended in quite well. The instrumentation was good, but the singer forgot the lyrics to a couple of songs, including a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid”. This was only their 2nd gig as a band, so they have time to grow and improve. Also, all four members of the band are big Mastodon fans, so that gives them a plus on my balance sheet of critique.
After that came CS Rydaz, some 14-year old Juggalo rappers. I fought off laughter during their set, but a voice in the back of my mind kept saying “they’re kids. Give ‘em time to grow”. Their song “Stay in the Dark” was fitting when you take the recent tornadoes that have struck this area into account. We’ll see what happens with them.
The next act I caught was Funk Yeah, an experimental jam band. Their sound was something like Jimmy Buffet, Phish, Primus, and Napalm Death thrown in a blender (yeah, I’m not kidding). I really enjoyed their set and they were easily the best band of the night. Everyone in the band can play drums and they had this monster-sized breakdown in the middle of their set. They also had a grungy hippie guitarist who looked a lot like Cliff Burton. He was pretty hot.
Robbie’s little brother Adam took the stage under the Pseudonym Bloody Red Mess. His set lived up to his name - he was bloody, he was red, and he was a total mess. Now I’ve heard dude’s recorded material and know that he’s a decent rapper, but I think that nerves got to him once he took the stage. He forgot a big chunk of his rhymes and Robbie’s mom had to help him out (by the way, Robbie and Adam’s mom is the most awesome stage mom I’ve ever seen around these here parts. Wish my mom was that enthusiastic about what I’m doing). I talked to dude this morning and he’s kind of bothered by how things went down, but I gave him that same “you’ve got time to grow” sentiment that the CS Rydaz got. He had a lot of guts to stay on stage and ride out his given time slot amidst the chaos.
Iron Diplomat, who took the stage next, were probably my 2nd favorite band of the night. They were way older than everyone else performing, and I think they’ve been around a lot longer, too. They had this sort of old-school Judas Priest riffage with anthemic, soaring choruses. Very easy and fun to sing along with. Also, their singer/guitarist looked a lot like Bill Kelliher from Mastodon, except with gray hair:
Told you so.
The hip-hop trio Darkgreen, took the stage next. They were probably the best hip hop act there. I was totally surprised by the preppy blond guy Gary Virtue - dude has some serious skills as an MC. Their set was short and there’s not much to remember about it, but I’m keeping my eye on them.
Finally, around five hours after the doors opened, headliners Hellmouth took the stage. This was their first live performance in a few years due to lineup changes and other problems. Their set was WAY too short; they only played three songs and kept having glitches with their intro samples. However, Robbie, Justino, Chris, and James had a lot of spirit and played/sung the hell out of those three songs. I was proud of them. I managed to get a video from their set, which you can watch HERE.
There were other acts that came later, but I didn’t stick around for them. The club was getting way over capacity and some shady characters started hanging around the back. Justino and I thought it would be a good time to leave, so I left with him. Adam Parker, AKA No More People, was probably hoping I’d stick around for his Midnight bass-thumping, but I just couldn’t. I was getting bad vibes about where the night was heading.
On a more personal note, I’ve known Robbie for almost seven years now. I’ve seen all the struggles he’s gone through in making Hellmouth and Murderbunny Records profitable, and almost every time something has gone wrong. He’s trying to do for Chattanooga what Kevin Seconds did for Reno and Phillip Cope did for Savannah. In other words, he’s trying to make Chattanooga into an internationally recognized hub for underground music. My best bet is that he won’t succeed, but damn it, he’s trying. He has the heart, the motive, and tenacity to stare at a crowd of middle fingers and give one giant finger right back at them. That at least counts for something.
Coming up tomorrow: SLEIGH BELLS!!!
EDIT: I HAVE MORE SHOTS FROM THE SHOW ON MY FLICKR PAGE.