Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pyrrhon, Don't Give a Fuck and Last Letters at Saint Vitus, Brooklyn, 11-28-2011

     Pyrrhon for free and $1 Gennesy cream ale cans all night, how could I say no?  That was a hard offer to pass up, so I headed in to Greenpoint, Brooklyn, for the show.  Shows at Saint Vitus have been happening for a few years now, and they are labeled as an exclusively metal venue.  Their reputation as a gathering place for metal fans in NYC has been growing, as indicated by the recent book signing done there by none other than the dark lord of metal himself, Tony Iommi. As metal is synonymous with high volumes, the venue is very loud and it is always difficult to carry on a conversation in the bar area.  As for the sound quality in the stage area, the situation is the same.  For better sound, I would prefer the intimate settings of Union Pool and The Acheron.  The warm tones at The Bell House are far superior as well.  Beer wise, they have a decent selection though, from cans of PBR up to fresh seasonal items from Six Point on draft.  After arriving too late for Risk, Brian and I settled in to a few pints of Six Point Sweet Action to start off the night. 

     Don't Give A Fuck were up soon after I got my pint.  Unfortunately, I missed them at the Acheron when they opened for Gaza, Defeatist and Tiger Flowers.  They seem to be going for a two man powerviolence style approach.  Comparisons to Iron Lung could be made (as the drummer sings in DGaF as well), but they are not as straightforward as Iron Lung. DGaF have other influences as well, such as hardcore punk and they tend to get a little more emotional than the icy Iron Lung.  It's interesting to see how they skillfully pull it all together.  Their demo is available for free on their Bandcamp page and comes highly recommended.  

     Up next was an screamo band from NJ called Last Letters.  Supposedly they were invited by the guys from DGaF to play the show.  Why, I have absolutely no idea.  Even at their most melodic and emotional, DGaF is infinitely more brutal than Last Letters.  The musical connection is hard to find, so I don't quite get it. The vocalist had the cutest little angular haricut and looked adorable in his sleeveless Cure t-shirt. To tell you the truth, I immediately thought of the Cephalic Carnage video for "Dying Will be the Death of Me" when I saw him on stage.  Please check out the link to the video below. 

     They might be good at what they do, but I'm surely not into it.  After their set, Brian quipped, "the vocalist will probably go home and cry his eyes out into his Morrisey tapes," and I couldn't agree more.  Again, If you're into this sort of thing then so be it, but I just don't understand why they would play a show with the quirky, challenging and technical brutality of Pyrrhon. 

     After Last Letters, Brian and I understandably needed a drink, so we switched things up and went for the $1 can special.  It was Brian's birthday, but I unfortunately couldn't convince him to let me buy him a glass of scotch.  The cream ales were surprisingly tasty and I think i might prefer them to PBR or Miller Lite.  Seeing Pyrrhon take the stage gave me a deep sigh of relief considering what just came off the stage.  These guys are like death metal magicians and it was a pleasure to see them perform again. The last time I saw them was at the Flourishing record release show earlier in the year and I was as enthralled with them then as I am now.   I'm so happy to see such an amazing and fresh death metal act come from this area.  They are in the hungry, vibrant and hyper creative phase of an excellent band's early career.  Their first ep, Fever Kingdoms (The Path Less Traveled, 2010), was an interesting take on Hate Eternal inspired death metal and they displayed much promise.  Listening to the new album however, An Excellent Servant but a Terrible Master (Selfmadegod, 2011), makes it difficult to revisit the ep due to their exponential growth.  Tracks like Idiot Circles combine catchiness with technicality and come across very well when performed live.  Guitarist Dylan has mastered the sticky riffing and tone of Suffocation while drummer Alex subtely connects all the pieces of the puzzle.  Personally, bassist Eric is my favorite to watch as he skillfully and adroitly commands his instrument, laying down the bottom end in a fashion that would make Cliff proud.  Vocalist Doug rounds out this youthful all-star team with a healthy mixture of vocal effects ranging from guttural to a harsh rasp and spoken; one should take note of his deep vocabulary and the intellectual heft of his lyrics.  This band is poised to take their act to the next level and more well established extreme metal bands should be clamoring to have them join their package tours.  Here's to hoping that they become less of a regional and more of a national if not global phenomemon. 


  1. "An Excellent Servant But A Terrible Master" is easily my #1 release of 2011. i can't stop listening to it.

    1. Hopefully it will get the attention it deserves here in the US. The album seems to be getting a good deal of press in Europe.