Electric Mayhem

Husband-and-wife duo Jucifer are no Sonny and Cher — they’re nomadic metal barbarians who’ll pillage your feeble eardrums

Bring earplugs. Because the moment Amber Valentine plays that first note whether its in full-bore metal overdrive or the start of a lighter, airier song youll wish you had them. Without them, your hearing will crumple in subservience. Trust me.

At every Jucifer show, a very tall and very, very loud wall of amps stand sentinel behind the band, floor to ceiling stacked neatly at some shows, haphazardly arranged on top of each other at others. It is the Great Wall of the metal world, sucking enough power to obliterate feeble fuse boxes and puffing a gentle zephyr into the crowd.

That wall of amps is not simply loud its practically the third member of the band. Jucifer formed in 1993, but it wasnt until 2001 when Valentine and husband Ed Livengood added that wall of amps and moved into an RV that they truly became Jucifer. With a motor home stuffed with all of their possessions, the couple pledged never to stop touring. Night after night, for the past eight years, they unload and re-load that wall of amps. Drive 200, 300 miles. Unload, play and re-load all over again. And they dont intend to stop.

In their early days, the duo simply played loud, heavy sludge. But after watching Pink Floyds 1972 Live at Pompeii in which the legendary group plays to the echoing empty ancient ruins, flanked by an ominous wall of amplifiers Jucifer changed. Collecting every amp they could find, Jucifer began to cram their own take on Pompeii into every club and bar show they played. And their songs took on a new shape: some laid Valentines waspy vocals over shredding metal riffs. On others, she just screamed. Their latest, LAutrichienne, is a concept album about Marie Antoinette in which the band lends their own perspective to the events of the young queens life.

Onstage, the soft-spoken Livengood is a beast on drums, pounding away at floor toms the size of bass drums, standing up to smash the cymbals that tower over his kit. And Valentine is a disciple to her own noise, arching backward as if shes taming her own guitar. Onstage, they pride themselves on performing their work differently as compared to what youll hear on their records. With earplugs, you can discern the discrepancies without, theres a chance youll only hear the blood running from your ears. leahs@inlander.com

Jucifer plays with Space Age Fur and Sonic Gypsy Revolution at the Blvd on Friday, Sept. 18, at 9 pm. Tickets: $8. Call 455-7826.

Green Flannel & Repo Man @ The Kenworthy

Fri., Feb. 3, 7 p.m.
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About The Author

Leah Sottile

Leah Sottile is a Spokane-based freelance writer who formerly served as music editor, culture editor and a staff writer at the Inlander. She has written about everything from nuns and Elvis impersonators, to jailhouse murders and mental health...