107.9 KBPI & Westword Present
*CORROSION OF CONFORMITY
Crowbar, Quaker City Night Hawks, Lo-Pan
Sat Aug 10
Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm
$27.00 - $30.00
This event is all ages
Ages 15+ without a parent
All tickets are non-exchangeable and non-refundable following purchase
Listed price does not include tax and service charge
Price is the same online, over the phone, or in the Box Office.
All tickets are General Admission (GA) with limited seating available. If you require accessible seating or other accommodations, please purchase your GA tickets and reach out to Daniel@z2ent.com to help us make your visit as enjoyable as possible.https://www.foxtheatre.com/event/1853997/
C.O.C. recently emerged from hibernation as a trio and released 2012's eponymous album and 2014's "IX" to wide acclaim, but many have been eagerly awaiting the return of Pepper Keenan.
The band were originally an influential hardcore punk/heavy metal crossover act before reaching critical success with a new lineup on 1991's "Blind" album. That trajectory continued with wider appeal as Keenan took over as primary vocalist on "Deliverance" (1994) and "Wiseblood" (1996).
These two recordings in particular fused the raw energy of the previous albums with some great strides forward in classic rock inspired songwriting and more spacious production and execution, which were often copied but rarely equalled.
This juggernaut gained mass and momentum with relentless touring alongside Metallica, Clutch, Eyehategod and many more.
Eventually following "In the Arms of God", 2005, Keenan focused all energy on his hometown band Down.
Until now, that is.
Recent internet chatter on the subject of a reunion turns out be true.
The result is an album that stands toetotoe with those early Crowbar classics while maintaining the lumbering hooks of midperiod standouts like 1998’s Odd Fellows Rest and 2000’s Equilibrium. Bolstered by massive riffage, new songs “I Am The Storm,” “Embrace The Light” and the title track explore the themes of life, loss and spirituality, respectively. “Even lyrically, the approach was a little more oldschool,” Windstein offers. “Some of the songs have less lyrics to let the riffs breathe a little more, which I had kind of gotten away from over the years. It was a conscious thing to go back to that.”
The album’s bruising centerpiece “The Enemy Beside You” opens with the line “ If you grow a set of balls, you might just change your life. ” It’s a rallying call to woeisme types everywhere. “The song is not about anyone in particular—it’s about negative people in general,” Windstein explains. “People who bitch about everything, but don’t get up and do anything for themselves. I know a lot of people like that. If you need a job, get off your ass and get one. If you need to get off dope, go get help. Don’t just sit there and whine about it.”
The tour cycle for The Serpent Only Lies marks the return of original Crowbar bassist Todd “Sexy T” Strange, who left the band back in 1999 but now joins Windstein, drummer Tommy Buckley and guitarist Matt Brunson in forging Crowbar’s future. “Todd helped start the band, so having him back is important to me and, I think, the fans,” Windstein offers. “It’s a great feeling to be standing onstage next to him. It’s a breath of fresh air for the band and makes us stronger.”
“Having this be our eleventh record, we’re very fortunate because so many bands don’t last this long,” Windstein adds. “My whole outlook on music as a career is the Motörhead outlook, which is that slow and steady wins the race. If you continue to put out killer records, continue to kick ass onstage every night and continue to treat your fans with respect, that’s the stuff people will remember.”
Noisey said “this ragtag bunch of boundary-pushers is likely to appeal to fans of Fu Manchu and Tom Waits in equal measure,” and Rolling Stone proclaimed Quaker City Night Hawks songs “fly in the face of mainstream rules.”
Arriving two years later, 2018's QCNH ramps up that diversity with 10 new songs rooted in vintage R&B grooves, Stax-worthy funk, and guitar-fueled psychedelia.
"We've always been a rock & roll band," says Sam Anderson, who splits the band's singing, songwriting, and guitar-playing duties with David Matsler. "There's a big '70s influence and a strong southern element to everything we do. With this record, though, we're exploring the sounds we've haven't touched upon as often. It's the deepest we've ever gone into our influ-ences, and the widest range of sounds we've ever tied together."
QCNH is tied together in more ways than one. Recorded at Niles City Sound (where Leon Bridges tracked his Grammy-nominated debut, Coming Home, several years earlier) in the band's hometown of Ft. Worth, the album weaves a handful of signature riffs and melodies throughout multiple songs, filling the tracklist with a common strand of musical DNA. The result is a boldly heterogeneous album that still functions as a cohesive whole, produced by White Denim's Austin Jenkins and performed by a group of road warriors who smartly balance their strengths — Anderson and Matsler's hook-driven songwriting; drummer Aaron Haynes raw rhythm; the band's blend of Tex-Mex desert rock and street-smart, big-city bombast — with their desire to explore and experiment.
The exploration begins with the kinetic kickoff track, "Better in the Morning." Loose and coolly confident, it's the sort of rock & roll anthem meant to be blasted loudly through open windows on a car stereo. From there, the album follows its unique muse into uncharted territory, from the sexed-up soul-funk of "Suit in the Back" to the heartland rock & roll of "Colorado" to the taut, riff-filled abandon of "Freedom." Along the way, the Night Hawks nod to Heart's Dream-boat Annie by pairing their acoustic guitars with analog synthesizers ("Elijah Ramsey") and de-liver their own version of southern rock ("Fox is in the Henhouse").
The Night Hawks find some time to get weird, too. "Tired of You Leaving" was inspired by Afri-can artists like Ali Farka Toure ("It's a 'love/love lost' song that appeared during a week or so of more-or-less freebasing Fela Kuti records," Matsler explains), while "Grackle King" visits the heady heights of Pink Floyd-inspired psychedelia. When asked about the latter song, Matsler adds, "'Grackle King' is about a guy on the verge of a psychological breakdown who has a quasi psychedelic experience while looking into the eye of a crow…which is how I feel most days."
QCNH casts its net wide, roping gospel harmonies, extended jams, pop hooks, swirling organ solos, and guitar freakouts into the same tracklist. The song's lyrics follow suit. With "Elijah Ramsey," Matsler spins the story of a Millennial male who joined the Army in the wake of 9/11, only to deal with repercussions for years. "I had listened to 'Copperhead Road' by Steve Earle," the singer explains, "and it occurred to me that nobody that I'd heard had written a song about some of these men and women's stories that evoked sounds and imagery that they would have experienced during their time serving in the middle east." On "Suit in the Back," the guys recall a real-life run-in with a highway trooper during their Chris Stapleton tour. Perhaps most poignantly, songs like "Tired of You Leaving" and "Freedom" double down on messages of resolve and resilience, with the Quaker City Night Hawks turning their personal struggles into reminders to seize the day.
Built upon a series of live-in-the-studio performances, these tracks shine a light not only on the band's songwriting chops, but their strength as a road band, too. Many of the tunes were de-buted on tour, where their arrangements could be shaped and sharpened according to an audience's reaction. As the music evolved on the road, so did the Night Hawks' lineup, which has weathered a handful of lineup changes since the band's formation. QCNH focuses on the band's creative core, with Anderson, Matsler and Haynes producing their strongest work to date.
"We've got a lot of road under our belts," Anderson says, rattling off a list of tour mates like Chris Stapleton, J. Roddy Walston, Lucero, and the Sheepdogs. "Songs change so much when you get to play them over and over again for people. They settle into themselves. You see what works and what doesn't, and you find the balance between the two. Then you bring those lessons into the studio."
Balance. It's the key to any band's survival. After weathering years of ups, downs, and lineup changes, Quaker City Night Hawks reach a rare kind of balance with QCNH. It's an album that rocks as hard as it rolls. An album that nods to the band's past while pushing off toward a new future. An album that reintroduces Quaker City Night Hawks as a 21st century band in-spired by — but not defined by — the best parts of previous decades.
Lo-Pan was formed in 2005 by veteran bassist Skot Thompson and drummer Jesse Bartz, who were joined by the jaw-droppingly gifted and expressive singer Jeff Martin in 2007. For the past two years, the guitar slot has been occupied by Chris Thompson (no relation to Skot), who is featured for the first time on their stunning fourth full-length Subtle, their second release with Aqualamb Records after 2017’s In Tensions EP. Almost as if to show the new guy off, the LP’s lead-off track “10 Days” begins with the unmistakable static of a guitar being plugged in—an entryway to a beautifully gnarly, broken-up riff that heralds an album full of completely sick grooves that tilt strongly toward the more headstrong end of the stoner-rock spectrum, underpinned by the familiar collision of Bartz’s heavy hitting and Thompson’s sleek and rubbery basslines, all in service to Martin’s transcendent vocal performances.
And as regards those vocal performances, the next cut, “Savage Heart” contains one of Martin’s most exceptional. That’s followed by “Ascension Day,” a title that can’t help but recall post-rock progenitors Talk Talk at their most opaquely experimental, but Lo-Pan’s song of the same name is in an altogether different zone, moving forward on the strength of an unyielding groove while Martin’s frictionless vocal floats above it all. Things take a turn for the doomier on “Everything Burns,” a long slow-burner that relentlessly advances at a pace that makes every note hit HARD.
“This band has always been four corners coming together,” said Martin. “Nobody in this band comes from the same background, we often disagree on a lot of fundamental things, but it’s undeniable when we get together and it coalesces into the product of the four personalities. It hits me in my heart, and whenever I sing these songs I relive what I’m writing about. These are our most overtly and unapologetically hostile lyrics to date. I have always written what I think and feel.”
“Chris’ songwriting is more of an organic process while mine’s very robotic,” offers Skot Thompson. “And those two wiring processes tend to blend themselves together. There’s been a handful of songs on [Subtle] in particular where those two processes have melded into something beautiful. A lot of these songs are me, Chris, and Jesse putting things together, with Jeff layering things on top to make it more of a solid form.”
Subtle was produced by James Brown (NIN, Foo Fighters, Ghost) and mastered by Ted Jensen (Mastodon, Deftones, Bad Company, GNR). It will be released on [MAY 17] in vinyl with a sleeve designed by Eric Palmerlee, and as always for Aqualamb releases, as a 100 page art book/digital download package.
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