For the Love of Rock and Metal is a blog dedicated to music articles, concert reviews, CD reviews, interviews and all other things related to rock and metal. There is an emphasis on local or semi-local music in the Madison, WI area.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Droids Attack, Brainerd and Way Off the Horse - November 12th, 2011

Droids Attack, Brainerd and Way Off the Horse – November 12th, 2011 at The Frequency  in Madison, WI
I’m having a moral dilemma. When I started this blog, I promised myself that I would be completely truthful, but at the same time my mom taught me that if I don’t have anything nice to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. I’ve been to hundreds of shows and have seen dozens of bands, at the very least. I’ve seen huge international bands and tiny local bands and everything in between. Not all of the shows I’ve been to have been great. Some have been mediocre and some have been downright bad, but I know that most, if not all, of the musicians in these bands have a passion for music and work really hard at what they do and I truly respect them for doing something I don’t have the guts to do.
That being said, I went to this show with the intention of listening to bands I’ve never heard before. I know I’ve seen that Droids Attack have been playing in various venues around Madison, but have never seen them myself. I had never heard of the other two bands playing, but figured I’d give them a try. When I arrived at the venue, which is a relatively small bar in downtown Madison, I immediately noticed that nearly everyone else there was in one of the bands or were friends or spouses of band members. I felt like I was out of place, but I stuck it out and watched the show.
The first band that went on was Way Off the Horse. Like I said, I’d never heard of them and was unable to find much information about them other than that they originated in Madison, WI and only play a few shows a year. The band itself wasn’t bad instrumentally. It was an interesting sound that seemed like a cross between an 80s hair band, punk rock and metal with strong drums and good guitar work.  I didn’t enjoy this band because the singer, while entertaining to watch, was just not a sound I could enjoy. I can’t pinpoint what to compare him to, but the words ran together intermittently with whiny-sounding unintelligible screams that weren’t even the characteristic guttural screams of a metal band. To be fair, while I didn’t enjoy this band, the small crowd that had gathered at The Frequency seemed to get into it and appreciate it. Not every band is for every person and this one was definitely not for me.
Next up in the show was Madison, WI band Brainerd, formed in 2002. Brainerd is a very versatile band that carries a punk rock sound in the vocals mixed with a hard rock instrumental sound. The band flowed together well and the vocalist had a decent voice with a lot of flexibility. One thing that struck me the most was that the singer was also the band’s bass player, which is not something I’ve seen very often. There was a lot of strength in the drums and I was extremely impressed with guitarist Shawn Blackler. He is fast and talented and is a lot of fun to watch on stage.  Brainerd is a band that I will definitely seek out again, especially if I can see them in a larger venue than The Frequency where their stage presence will be able to shine through. They had a strong, dark and tempestuous sound that calls to the love of rock and metal in me.
Up next on the bill was Droids Attack, a three piece rock and metal band, also from Madison, WI. What first struck me about this band was the strong, crisp, clear drums with extensive use of cymbals in many of their songs. It set an excellent background for the other two members of the band. Brad Van, the singer and guitar player, has a gruff and gravelly voice that fits well into the rock scene. He is very high energy and made good use of the small stage area available at The Frequency. The band has a current rock sound mixed with a punk rock vibe, like the other bands of the night and seemed to get the largest crowd reaction. While I didn’t enjoy this band quite as much as Brainerd, I did enjoy them as a good punk rock sound.
Overall, the show had a rocky start for me, but did get better. Any show where I can find a new band that I enjoy, such as Brainerd, is a successful show.  
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1 comment:

  1. I heard from an anonymous source that the first band sounded like a cat in a dryer