THURSDAY 27 SEPTEMBER
Words and Photo's by Charlette Hannah
Worn Villain totally rocked my socks off on Thursday night at Valve. From the very first song they had me hooked, with their pounding drums, and melodic, dynamic guitaring. On the second song the bass player put his bass down and took the mic. I was impressed that the band managed to keep the full tight sound even without the bass underneath. I got a bit frustrated with that song though - the primal screaming doesn't really do it for me, and I wish metal bands could be loud and sing powerfully without the screaming. Having said that, they do the screaming thing very well.
The music was unpredictable and very dynamic. The drums were forceful and solid, and the bassist and guitarist switched between instruments and vocals with equal fluency. According to a friend who is more familiar with this style of music than me, they sound like a mix between Shellac and early Metallica in their instrumentation.
I feel I have to make a note about Blair, the Valve sound engineer - again, proving himself to be one of the best around. Not only does he mix a wicked sound, at one point the bass player's strap came off, and as he knelt down to continue playing, Blair got up on stage and fixed it for him so he could stand up and resume the dual vocals. Credit to Worn Villain is due of course, for not pausing for even a second and letting up on their assault - the drummer threw away a stick, the bass player lost his strap, and you wouldn't have even noticed aurally.
All in all, the music was original and powerful. I loved it, and it's not even my usual kind of thing. Worn Villain appear to be a mostly instrumental band, which is unusual, but suited me fine, as I turned off a bit during the growling vocals. The last song was my favourite, it was powerful and absolutely beautiful in a slightly disconcerting way.
If you like quality heavy rock/metal, I would definitely recommend checking these guys out. I think if they brought in some more melodic vocals (ie. Tool, System of a Down) they could have a much broader appeal.