Live Review: Ladyfinger; The Protoculture amidst a blizzard…

Category: Blog — @ 7:56 pm March 19, 2006

So the big question is whether or not the Protoculture show is happening tonight. I just talked to the show promoter and he says it’s on no matter what. The heavy stuff isn’t supposed to start until later tonight — probably right when the show is going on. It should make for some interesting driving. I’d skip it, but this is The Protoculture, and though they say they’ll be playing again soon, who really knows for sure what our future holds?

Nice crowd last night for Ladyfinger and Mr. 1986 at Sokol Underground. My ears are still ringing. Frickin’ loud. Ladyfinger was double-barrel hardcore heavy. Throw the bitch out the window mean, but cool like a serial killer up there on stage. Chris and the boys are anything but metal head rock freaks when it comes to stage presence. Machmuller just leans to the mike and does his thing while nonchalantly uncorking a hail of power chords. That’s the irony of this band — they seem like nice guys, but their music is some dark shit, black and negative, psycho angry, rattling around loud and scary like a box of smoking chainsaws. All that time spent recording has done something to this band. Obviously they sound tighter, but they also sound harder, almost weathered. The old songs from their first EP seemed compact and well-planned. The new ones are complete chaos, not as hook-laden as, say “Too Cool for School, ” which, in comparison, sounds like a dance song. The groove is still there, it’s just more subtle amidst the ensemble’s raw power. Did I mention how loud it was?

I only caught three of Mr. 1986’s songs seeing as I had to make it down to O’Leaver’s to bid farewell to Reader music writer/editor Jeremy Schnitker, who’s on his way to Chicago. Good luck in the Windy City, bro. ’86 does what it does about as well as anyone could — huge, cinematic songs that recall Mogwai and God Speed, repeated tonal instrumentals that can explode at any moment. The drums were otherworldly in size and scope, and made the whole thing work. I wonder, however, if what they’re doing hasn’t become somewhat dated, if they have room to take it a different direction or if they only want to play these throbbing, dynamic symphonies of noise…

If I hear any updates about tonight’s show, I’ll pass them along right here. Otherwise, I’ll see you there…

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