Sled Island presents Kowloon Walled City with Griefwalker, Culled and Palm Oil.
Upstairs there will be a FREE SHOW with Anchoress, NEEDS, Mire and Sun Up Sun Down.
Kowloon Walled City
Convulsing slowly at the border between noise-rock and post-metal lies the slow rot of Kowloon Walled City. The band's rage is of the bleary-eyed, resigned variety, doled out at the sludge-clogged speed of inevitability. Their tunes are heavy enough to pop a vertebrae, but rendered with a thoughtful precision that keeps indifference at bay.
If you like your post-rock heavy, multi-instrumental and with a tinge of doom metal, this is the band for you. Octet Griefwalker live somewhere between Steve Reich and recent-era Swans, doling out ritualistic punishment that breaks into an unholy rapture just when you reach the brink of defeat.
For those less schooled in the subdivisions of subdivisions of current metal music, the utterance of "doom encrusted grind" my be nothing but white noise. Culled, however, are anything but. Something of a super(punishing)group made up of former members of Western Canada's heaviest bands-from Wake and Exit Strategy to Thorazine and Disciples of Power- lay down alternatingly slow and fast blasts of heavy feelings.
Featuring members of Sled Island faves Pinner, SBDC and Love Cuts, Palm Oil is predictably great while also being a complete surprise. Eschewing the immensely hummable tunes of those bands for decidedly more intense but cathartic screams and howls from beneath comforting blankets of fuzzy doom and metal, Palm Oil may not be the non-stop ear worm factory their pedigree suggests, but that's just because they've just blown your eardrums out completely.
Finding room atop the heaviness, post-punk veterans Anchoress are at their best when intricately tying dizzying guitar lines atop a driving rhythm section. Diving confidently into odd time signatures and tempo changes, the self-described “hard to classify” five-piece thrive in their unpredictable precision, leaving the audience to interpret the teetering balance of aggression and technical delicacy.
The relentlessly tight rhythm section calls to mind Drive Like Jehu and the walls of fuzz might make Metz run for protection, but it's the swagger and showmanship NEEDS adds to the punk and post-hardcore genre that really leaves its mark.
While Mire may not (yet) be a known quantity for fans of heavy music in Western Canada, their pedigree, including Mortality Rate, Kali and Open Letters, certainly makes a strong case for their eventual domination. In all honesty, even if we dropped the name drops altogether, the punishing and chaotic hardcore blasts would be enough to have every other band in the scene needing to whip themselves into shape post-haste.
Sun Up Sun Down
While Sun Up Sun Down embraces the touchstones of classic Western Canadian screamo—beautiful picked guitar lines, cascading swells of cymbals and bursts of scream-sung emotion—the enthusiasm with which the band delivers it makes it feel every bit the antidote to hard rock's predictability that the genre was during its first arrival.