by DUSTIN CARROLL & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & G & lt;/span & rindcore is the sort of music genre you don't hear about very often in the mainstream, or even the local music scene for that matter. Ever since bands like Napalm Death and Sore Throat emerged in the '80s, the envelope in heavy music gets pushed more and more every year. Grind is the epitome, the extreme side of an extreme style: blistering snare hits, consistent blasts, double bass drums pounding, harsh vocals, down-tuned guitars playing ridiculously fast. The music grindcore bands create is not the sort of thing that will appeal to your average metal listener, and should probably be avoided by people with heart complications.
Keeping true to their roots, Colorado's Poolside At the Flamingo (named appropriately from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) doesn't hold back for a second in its fast-driven, punishing metal onslaught. Citing bands such as Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Braindrill and Dying Fetus as influences, it's readily apparent at the first listen to this band that it knows its roots, and is proud of them. When I asked the band's bassist, Ikaika, about the grind scene and life on the road, he whole-heartedly agreed. "There's bands like Mortician that just lay it down, flat-out brutal. Then you have bands like See You Next Tuesday and Psyopus that flip the script every measure, but still come off heavy and brutal, the slow parts accentuate the fast parts, the soft parts accentuate the heavy parts. All these bands, and the progression of the style in itself with new bands coming out, make for a very diverse genre."
Although also keeping true to many bands in the scene, Poolside doesn't necessarily take much other than its music seriously, and the members like to have a good time. "The most important thing for us as a band is having fun. If you're not having fun what's it worth, ya know? The lyrics are just a part of the sum of music. We're not trying to preach any one message or change the world. If there ever was an aura to this band it would be goofy."
Staying true to the likes of bands like See You Next Tuesday, Anal C--t, and others, the humor found in grind bands is often readily apparent, although not usually family-oriented funny.
Rounding out this particular show is Songs From the Rodeo, a more punk-influenced band from Portland, Ore., that still holds ties to the grindcore scene. Citing Jesu, Backstabbers Inc, and Radiohead as influences, these guys are taking the road less traveled musically. According to the band's bio, "We play loud music, we love recording, we love distorted bass and loud amps. Watch us headbang." These guys are indeed loud, and with Spokane's local loudest band ever, Behold (also playing this show), SFTR will soon release what will most likely be one of the most deafening split EPs in Northwest music history.
Opening the show is Gates of Graceland, a metalcore band from Reardan and Moses Lake, made up primarily of high school students. Its music is very reminiscent of As I Lay Dying and Norma Jean. Local six-piece group Skies Burn Black will be headlining the bill, with its forceful dual-vocal approach to combining elements of death metal and hardcore. Fans of All Shall Perish and the Black Dahlia Murder will likely enjoy these guys. Filling in the gaps are the aforementioned Behold, complete with a new bassist (Will Haworth of Table Top Joe). This show is the kickoff for a short Northwest run with Songs From the Rodeo. Expect the split to be released by spring.
Poolside at the Flamingo with Skies Burn Black, Gates of Graceland, Songs From the Rodeo, and Behold at Empyrean on Friday, Feb. 22. $8 at the door, $6 with a flier. Call 838-9819.