RGTBRUOS/BPS/The Butts @ The Eagle’s Nest
Fan-Belt! It’s been too long. I missed you…got drunk and thought about you. But let me get my new swag on here with this here show I went to Saturday, April 10. The Eagle’s Nest is on Center Street, but I’m not telling you where. Come down to Riverwest, make it a fun Easter egg type hunt to find it, and experience some good music in a great venue with the best part being (drum roll please) – NO SMOKING! Yeah motherfuckers, go outside and puff on that shit. I can’t wait till July.
Alright, damn it, I’m off track. Okay. Gettin’ drunk. Rock and roll. This is what it’s all about, and tonight it started off with Riverwest thrash and power-violence heroes, The Butts. Those of you that follow me at Fan-Belt know I am hard to please with the band names, but ‘THE BUTTS?!’ Comon, that’s like the best name ever! These guys are on their third singer, Matt Lutchman. With shaved head and full beard, he finally looks comfortable in his skin being the frontman. The brutal 11 minute set had him punishing the crowd by constantly ramming and slam dancing into them. The foursome played super tight and the songs were aggressive. Some stopped on a dime, and some raced to the finish line. I’m telling you, they’re like a fucking blur to watch, you really gotta pay attention. I’m glad I did–they killed it.
With one more beer chugged, another band set up to play: the almighty Bear Proof Suit. They have been a staple of Milwaukee rage for the last 5 years, and the guitar playing bonafide leader of the band, Ryan Poortenga, announced that it was their second to last show. Their plan for this show and their last: they will play every one of their songs, some of which haven’t been played in a long time. So, erasing songs forever as they played them, they plowed through the set. The songs veered back and forth from notey to pure power. The three vocalists took turns and sung both in unison and apart. They churn a very deep aural scape if you’re listening. Both guitarists Hanson and Poortenga took turns weaving in and out of each other, with Hanson usually taking the higher octaves and sweet not-quite-solos that make their sound really stick out. Third song in they played my personal favorite, “Hail Satin!,” a sub-minute thrash exclusive about two kids who desecrated a church and spelled the almighty dark lord’s name, uh…wrong. I fought back the urge to go into the crowd and start people moving, because their music fucking deserves dancing, and people were just not moving around at all. Well, Andy Junk was. Thanks, Andy. Song after song was laid to rest with awesome strength, and in between each one as always, we received a witty verbal nugget from Ryan and the others. They closed with “Alien Eyes,” a song that I swore was a cover song because it is just that damn good. If you have a pair of fucking balls you will go and see Bear Proof Suit’s last show, even if you haven’t seen them. Especially if you haven’t seen them.
It was getting late and I had to DJ at the Riverhorse at ten, but there was no way I was missing Roman Gabriel Todd’s Beast Rising up Out of the Sea. Whoa, yeah, that’s right. That’s their name. And finally there’s two great band names on a bill. The two piece comes form Mobile, AL, and were on the second day of their tour. There’s the drummer Benny, and his drum set is nice, yeah, but the amazing giant percussion piece on the side of him? A gong. Uh-huh, A FUCKING GONG. The other half is the bassist Roman, whom cannot be truly observed in a review. It’s like he ate Peter Woods and Les Claypool, absorbed their powers, got even better, started singing pissed off songs about religion, and–with Benny–sonically packed it into these minute dense works of prog art. They started playing without any fanfare and the crowd gathered in immediately. I had one of the best spots, a Roc-N-Soc drum throne on the left side with an non-obscured view of both of them. As one song melded into the next Roman would announce titles like “Lamb of God Mummified in Bacon Strips” or “Christmas Tree Monster Cock” and laughter filled the room. The titles and words were the weapons they used to keep knocking the pretension out of the overtly complex music; the whole thing was terribly amazing, wholly compelling, and just made sense. How?! Twenty seven songs were played in 30 minutes, and I wanted more. Indeed, this is a band that breaks the “twenty minutes or less” rule that should be placed on most bands. May the rest of your tour be filled with good food, bros.
I didn’t want to, but I had to leave before seeing Tenement, so I could go spin records. I heard they were good. Lots of people came to the Riverhorse from the show, and we ended the night with a rocking drunk time. The end.