Jeb Ebben

Psychedelic Horseshit/Aluminum Knot Eye @ Circle A

By - Mar 31st, 2010 11:44 pm
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Having been around for nearly fifteen years, Aluminum Knot Eye is something of an institution in the underground Milwaukee punk scene. They’ve continued to thrive despite the waning of the garage rock revival which consumed Riverwest basements and bars for years (and despite the fact that they’ve long since been banned from said bars and basements anyway), and though it’s somewhat rare for them to play out, when they do, they always bring a fierce, demonic energy that is unlike anything else in Milwaukee. Monday night at the Circle A, it was seeping out their pores; they were glistening with it like sweat.

Singer/guitarist Keith Vercauteren yowls and barks and belches out lyrics that, delivered by anyone else, might almost seem a little goofy, but take on an evil edge as he climbs up on tables, chucks beer cans at people and howls like he’s delivering the son of Satan through his piss hole while the rest of the band imparts plodding, discordant and often atonal psychedelic punk rock blasting your ears off. AKE plays the best kind of rock ‘n roll—ugly, unwieldy, loud as fuck.

Columbus’s Psychedelic Horseshit, forebearers of the asininely named “shitgaze” scene, were no less confrontational, but took their performance in a different direction, with the assault on the audience being purely aural. Frontman Matt Horseshit would mumble into the microphone in a nasal drawl sounding not unlike a retarded Bob Dylan, while he and the band ripped through loud, jangly numbers not unlike the kind of stuff played by their cohorts in Times New Viking—except they would then proceed to tear it apart entirely, with long, piercing, off-key solos that themselves gave way to looped keyboards and guitars run through a shit-ton of phasers. It veered toward the unlistenable at points, which seemed to be exactly what the band was going for, and which about half the crowd ate up, leaving the other half was confused or outright pissed off. Needless to say, it was a great set.

Two noteworthy points about Psychedelic Horseshit: first, the show acted as a homecoming of sorts for Pink Reason’s Kevin Failure, who’s playing bass for Horseshit on this tour, and hasn’t played in Milwaukee in a couple of years. (A highlight of the night was when Horseshit was asked to do an encore and Kevin sang his song “The Devil Always Wins,” with which nearly every fucking person sang along to.) Secondly, the drummer used a cardboard box as a bass drum. Apparently it’s in their rider; each venue must provide a box for the band.

Your guess is as good as mine.

Categories: Review

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