October 2019 was full of memorable nights and releases: skatepark shows, crazed Halloween madness, and loads of long-awaited album releases. Here’s some of my personal favorites from this month, in no real chronological order.
THE SUICIDES, G.U.N. AND WAXED AT TWO RIVERS
Smoke the Bowl was a surprise pop up show by mysterious new collective Organism, announced almost a week before the show at Two Rivers. G.U.N., Waxed, and the Suicides all played in the middle of the park and all delivered an amazing show from start to finish.
The Suicides started off the night, with G.U.N. and Waxed following up after. It was mayhem: dust clouds forming all over, people swinging from trees, all the while people skating while these bands were playing.
I had never seen the Suicides before they played at the park, but I definitely would go see them soon. They delivered a super tight opening set, and the frontman was fun to watch. Definitely want to see them again soon, hopefully at another Organism event.
Waxed soon followed and tore the grass straight out of the earth. Dust clouds formed and mayhem ensued. Loud, fast and heavy is how Waxed plays, and at Two Rivers was some of the heaviest shit I had ever seen them play. Most memorable was when they played “GREEN EGGS AND SLAM” off of their 2018 demos tape, The First Four Beers. Every time I’ve ever seen Waxed, I’ve walked away limping. Two Rivers was no exception.
G.U.N. took the grass patch by storm, and this was the first time I got to see them as well. I was super excited to see them after a couple of months of missing them time after time. They did not disappoint and played a straightforward, no bullshit set. I hope to get my hands on a tape soon, and am super excited to see them again.
Smoke the Bowl was an incredible event, and the best part was the fact the cops never showed. Hopefully Organism does another event like this soon, because this was one for the record books.
ENGINEIX AT BETTY’S
Engineix played at Betty’s at the beginning of October and was one of the best sets I’d ever seen them play. The four piece band hit the ground running and took the bar by storm. The band, comprised of Nico Pardo, Asher Emerson, and Zhandre (sorry I don’t know your last name), and recently Enzo Lederer of ANTI-HUMAN, call themselves “Nashville goblins with anger issues.”
Well, this was the case at Betty’s – they play with a raw drive and intense energy, and it’s always matched by their crowd. If it’s not, you can count on Enzo to throw himself in and make the energy happen. With an incredible chemistry and the songs to back it up, Betty’s proved Engineix to be one of Nashville’s best bands right now.
I WAS SICK THIS WHOLE WEEKEND THROWING UP MY GUTS BUT IT LOOKED INCREDIBLE AND FROM WHAT EVERYONE SAID IT WAS AN AMAZING WEEKEND FROM START TO FINISH. Super pissed I missed the whole thing, but it sounded like a damn good weekend. It was an incredible feat: bands, vendors, and and chaos for three days straight. No Rest Booking created an incredible fest, I hope this shit happens next year as well. Major respect.
Finn of Anti-Human says: “Paranoid mess was a loud pile of riffs and art. The night that I attended was filled with the controlled chaos of raw punk and an endless supply of energy.”
Some of the best albums I’d ever heard came out in October, and some I’ve been waiting for a long time to hear also came out. From Big Thief to Clementoon, here’s some of my favorites.
ORNAMENT – …As Is
I already wrote a whole review on how much I love this album. Read it here and go listen to the whole thing. You won’t regret it.
LEVI J. MILLER – Dysmorphia EP
Levi’s newest project from FKHQ hits hard. He digs deep on this album, coming up with some of his most introspective music yet. The music is true and honest – I think my favorite is “(It’s Not Easy) Being Honest With My Self” – as it varies in genres. Miller has always been one to experiment and vary in the music he plays (from the self-titled album to Tales in Red Writing to God Complex to Looking Young), and Dysmorphia finds him returning to his earlier sound, but in a much more matured songwriting style. It’s the perfect follow up to the incredible accomplishment that God Complex was.
Listen to Dysmorphia: https://levijmiller.bandcamp.com/album/dysmorphia
ARCHIE SUMMERS – “BY YOUR SIDE” SINGLE
The first single from the Ill Spector frontman, Liam Cauley, or Archie Summers, “By Your Side” is a far step away from that familiar Ill Spector sound, but it’s an amazing step in a new direction. I was not expecting the song, and so hearing it for the first time, blew my mind. It’s a fast paced, a nearly three minute hit. You can hear a natural songwriting ability, and you’ll be hanging onto every single word as Summers takes you on a heart-racing adventure. This has been a big year for Cauley as well, with the release of Ill Spector’s 10/10 debut album Ab Aeterno, another amazing project. The biggest takeaway from the single is the vocal performance on this track: it’s a perfect flow, there’s no hesitation behind the words, it’s almost effortless sounding. I’m excited to hear what comes next from Archie Summers, and I’m hoping he does a live show soon.
Listen to “By Your Side”: https://music.apple.com/us/album/by-your-side/1483657778?i=1483657784
CLEMENTOON – SLUNJ
Clementoon, the brainchild of Ava Neff, is one of my favorite bands to date, and Slunj is something I’ve been waiting to hear for a long time and it made my whole day when I finally got to. Tracks like “Pjlamp” have been swirling in and out of my head for a year and a half, and it makes me ecstatic to hear it. Ava is a talented guitarist and songwriter, and on her debut, her skill shines. “Summersng” shreds, as her unique vocal ability is shrouded in distorted guitar and feedback, and the solo turns the whole song upside down. That and “Pjlamp” are two of the greatest tracks on the record, the latter of which is stripped down and offers a stunning vocal performance. Everyone needs to hear Slunj, and see Clementoon live.
Listen to Slunj: https://clementoon.bandcamp.com/album/slunj
ANTI-HUMAN – ANTI-DEMO ’19
Anti-Human’s debut tape Anti-Demo ’19 finally came out on Halloween to a massive following, delivering some of the crustiest, nastiest shit I’ve heard in a long time. It’ll leave your ears bleeding and you’ll be looking over your shoulder for the foreseeable future. “Profitability Populist” and “Walkin” are my two favorite songs off the whole tape, capturing their crazed live chaos and turning it into a recorded hellscape. Anti-Human’s known for having absolutely no shits to give (“Epstein is Still Fucking Kids”) and they’re one of the funnest bands to see live. If you missed them at BTHQ on Halloween as well, while they were hot off the release of the demo, you missed it – broken walls, paintings coming down, and Cole somehow doing the whole damned thing dressed as Scooby-Doo. The floor felt like a thin piece of wood that was about to fall through at any point. Did I mention the fact that the walls were cracked after Anti-Human plowed through? Anti-Demo ’19 is crusty, sludgy, and ripped open and pulsating.
Listen to Anti-Demo ’19: https://antihuman615.bandcamp.com/releases