Last week, I had the opportunity to attend two concerts, featuring four original bands. Unfortunately, attendance was not on these bands’ sides. At one show, I was one of 30 in the crowd. At the second show, one of 21. Not okay. DZ Deathrays and Bass Drum of Death played The Basement on Wednesday, and Thursday night, 200 Years and Dope Body played as well. We’ll start with DZ Deathrays and Bass Drum of Death. These two bands have easily become my new two favorite bands to listen to.
DZ Deathrays and Bass Drum of Death
I walked into The Basement, not expecting a lot of people. All three Promowest venues had shows that night. Bootsy Collins played the LC and Jackie and the Stabbs performed at A&R Bar. When I walked in the door, I went to the bar to grab a beverage, but soon after that, like an explosion DZ Deathrays burst out with “No Sleep”, which happens to be one of my favorite current tunes of the band. Drummer, Simon Ridley, bobbed his head to the music as singer and guitarist Shane Parsons sang each song with ease. With a kick of his guitar pedal, Parsons manipulated his guitar from grunge to a sound that sounded like a synth made from razor blades. During this show, I was instantly taken back to a house on Norwich Avenue, properly called “The Chelsea House” (now defunct), where too many of us crowded into a dirt and unidentifiable liquid caked floor in the name of rock and roll.
These two were the ingredients of a perfect recipe of a perfect lineup. It’s as if you were to look up one band, a suggested band to like would be the other. They’re not the same, but they seem to cut from the same cloth. Simon Ridley even fed a guitar player from BDOD Budweiser as if a mother bird feeding its child. Bass Drum of Death solidified that I had just witnessed two of my new favorite bands. You can follow a tour diary HERE. It’s selfish to say, but when both DZ Deathrays and Bass Drum of Death return to Columbus, together or separately, I think it would behoove everyone to revive the old Chelsea House.
200 Years and Dope Body
Thursday night, I again saw two amazing bands, 200 Years and Dope Body. This lineup was incredibly mismatched, but both were great and entirely kept my attention. 200 Years “depicts chaos, envisaged through corrosion, but calmly…”. 200 Years, is another duo making big noise, but in a different way. Singer, Elisa Ambrogio, played the guitar and while hauntingly singing whilst putting the small audience of 12 in a trance. Her voice sang songs of despair and pain but in a quiet powerful way, especially when the she sang the lyrics, “Hey Kim, why’d you treat me this way”? Intense. I felt calm while listening to electric acoustic guitarist, Ben Chasny, strummed complicated bass and melodic guitar parts while harmonizing with his partner. They sat side by side in chairs and played as a snare drum from Dope Body’s drum set whimpered from the power of Chasny’s guitar. I’m not sure as to why a band like this, although fantastic, would play with the noise-rock that came after. With that said, they stood on their own as a solid band.
After 200 Years, Dope Body took the stage. More people appeared, but it couldn’t of have been more than 30 people. Dope Body, too, started off with one of their best songs, “Enemy out of Me”. The lead singer of Dope Body, Andrew Laumann, reminded me of a caffeinated Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine fame. His body contorted in similar to that of a person having a seizure. Their energy is unmatchable. The music was insanely loud. It was loud enough that I thought my eardrums were going to burst. This “noise-rock” could easily be the soundtrack to a dark alley fist fight. It was so loud that a drink resting on the side of the place I sat fell on me. I moved the glass back to the bar top, only for it fall again. I then realized the power streaming through the amps was what made the glass drop. Breathing heavily into the microphone between songs, Laumann would ask the band what song was next holding true to Jacober’s quote from his interview that they don’t plan a set list. Laumann gave a great number of one-liners including: “I get a little emotional sometimes, I just have to scream sometimes” and my personal favorite, “Instead of killing someone, I do this instead”. The crowd of roughly 20 people were completely into the band, even making them play one last song to which Laumann described as a song that encourages people to cherish their youth.
There is no other word to describe this band except brutal. Make an effort to see this band or at the very least buy their album (. It makes me happy to see a resurgence of heavy hard rock reminiscent of that in the grunge period of the early 90’s.