Tuesday August 30th
Chicago-based post-rock trio Russian Circles are approaching 12 years into their career as a band, and have remained more prolific and tour-intensive than any of their peers. The band never goes more than 2 or 3 years without releasing a record, and they tend to tour extensively on each one once it’s out. Former Botch/current Sumac bassist Brian Cook must really love the road dog life. Good for us.
The group just dropped another new full-length, titled Guidance, with Kurt Ballou at the helm. While there likely won’t be too many surprises to long-time followers of the band, it’s another very solid release in their already-impressive catalog. Allowing adequate space for their riffs to ring out, the songs tend to breathe in and out, capturing an essence and a sound that is truly unique to this band. As always, guitarist Mike Sullivan proves that a deep understanding of loop pedals and melody can be every bit as effective of an attention-grabber as a sweaty frontman barking orders. Never a word uttered, Guidance takes the listeners hand and leads them through the dreamlike soundscapes. Nothing feels forced or out of place, and drummer Dave Turncrantz once again shows just how ruthlessly underrated he is whether he’s tight in the pocket or letting loose like a madman.
Russian Circles seem to enjoy playing Neumos, and the soundsystem and acoustics in that room in particular lend themselves very well to the overall experience. You’d be wise to catch them there while you still can, as they’re probably not far off from moving up to the bigger rooms with worse sound. -Dustin Carroll
$20/8pm/21+/Neumos/925 E. Pike
Thursday September 1st
Cobalt/Mantar /Into The Storm /Dogs of War
Cobalt is one of those bands that draw disparate metal-types together. The project, mainly of multi-instrumentalist Erik Wuder, has long existed on a unique sonic and aesthetic throne within American metal. Pounding war drums propel guitar work that slides between black metal and psychedelia, while vocalist Charlie Fell tears his throat in half bringing emotional turmoil into his performance. Cobalt invokes functional-alcoholics Hemingway and Hunter S. Thompson as icons, and those with an inclination for mixing booze with their enjoyment of sludge-drenched distortion would do well to show up early and watch the proceedings escalate through the evening. Tour-mates Mantar are a pulverizing duo of guitar and drums, stripping down the essentials of heavy rock to a couple of German men pounding on instruments and screaming. Locals Into The Storm and Dogs of War are the perfect complement to a night of drunken fist-pumping and head-banging. -Jake McCune
Lesbian/Nosretep/Xoth/Labyrinth and the Desert
Lesbian, the band, are a Seattle institution. The long-running psychedelic metal band has existed on the fringes of underground for nearly a decade, and their latest album “Hallucinogenesis” is primed to bring their magic-mushroom-inspired metal to a larger, less-local crowd. The crew are assembling at Chop Suey, with a bill of diverse local openers, to celebrate the release of their latest drug-filled odyssey, and those wishing to experience something beyond this world should pay attention. Opener Labyrinth and the Desert are billed as a “One-man doom-jazz morricone-odyssey,” which sounds not-to-be-missed, while the local thrashers in Xoth will turn the volume dial way up with their sci-fi inflected death metal stylings. Nosretep, whom I have not had the pleasure of hearing before, are described as “Fusion Shredders from Beyond”, which is a very apt description for a band that is playing before Lesbian takes the stage. I don’t doubt that they will give the psychedelic captains of the evening an appropriate introduction. -JM
8pm/$10/21+/Chop Suey/1325 E Madison St.
Saturday September 3rd
Mars Red Sky/Ancient Warlocks/Teacher/The Deadrones
Prepare for a fuzzed out sonic assault this Saturday when French psychedelic stoner rockers Mars Red Sky will be invading the Funhouse. Mars Red Sky pump out sweet sludgy grooves with a delicate touch of shoegazey ambience, hard hitting riffs layered with ghostly vocals and searing leads. There will be superb local support by stoner rock titans Ancient Warlocks, whose recent resurrection has been a long awaited blessing among fans of epic, classic riff driven heavy rock, along with the vintage heavy metal and desert rock inspired Teacher and psychedelic garage rockers The Deadrones. This is a super solid lineup, should be a great night full of fuzzy riffs and stoned out grooves. -Brian Kim
9PM/$8/21+/Funhouse/109 Eastlake Ave E
Sunday September 4th
Heiress/Family/Dust Moth/A Province of Thay
Heiress has held down their reign as one of the best heavy bands in Seattle for a while now, relentlessly releasing incredibly great records and blowing minds live. Veterans in the craft of making badass heavy music, Heiress have mastered the ability to create crushing heavy riffs, haunting dark melodies, tense buildups and epic breakdowns, and then smash them into dynamic, driving, and interesting songs. They will be joined by Brooklyn-based progressive metal slayers Family, who dish up equal parts taut instrumental acrobatics, soulful melodies, and searing aggression. Local atmospheric heavygaze outfit Dust Moth will also be unfurling their unique brand of dense and dynamic rock, and gloomy post-metal rockers A Province of Thay will be opening the night with their somber and ethereal melodies and substantially heavy tones. Be prepared to show up early and stay late, this is one hell of a great lineup from start to finish. -BK
9PM/$10/21+/Highline/210 Broadway Ave E