CWM and SysTor

Sun Jun 27 2010

It’s weird going to two shows in one night with no interest in seeing the headliner at either one, but it happens.  In an effort to start catching up on a busy month, I present this recap of June 19th (Garfield’s birthday, in case you didn’t know). Lately, Saturdays are microcosms of the hectic schedule I cram myself into every summer.  Wouldn’t have it any other way, though.  Run errands during the day, have people over for a cookout in the late afternoon, scoot down to Oakland & North for a set at the Summer Soulstice festival before sundown, then off to the Monkey Bar for more music, back home for some afterbar commiseration, in bed by 4.

I missed the first song from The Celebrated Workingman, but from then on it was one of the best sets I’ve ever seen ‘em play.  Tons of new material, and Mark Waldoch’s voice not only held up, he was killing it, with all his usual manic enthusiasm and some triumphant sustained vibrato that few rock and roll singers would even attempt.  Guitarist Nathan McNichols was also on fire, even tossing in an extended “Champagne Supernova” tease (my personal fave Oasis tune).  That elusive full-band interconnection was on prominent display.  Some pretty shocked newcomers in the crowd: “These guys are from here???”  Can’t wait (but will have to) for the new album they’re working on.

Madison-area hardcore curiosity Systemic Torment played first at the Monkey Bar that night, and that was all I managed to catch with all the friends-rarely-seen who converged for the show.  SysTor (will this catch on?) has one foot in traditional hardcore, as in the furious, breakneck 80s stuff, and the other foot (and vocal chords) in extreme metal.  Singer Whole Wheat Bret kicks out a vicious death growl most of the time, and on lead guitar, Metal Mike, ‘nuff said.  Almost too talented to be punk but too ramshackle for metal, the band’s sound is a modern blast with a firm nod to its predecessors, exhilarating all in all.  A little Star Wars “Imperial March” never hurts, either.

Almost seems silly to go to two shows and only see two bands, but the night had a little of everything, virtually perfect.  Even got to sleep in on Sunday.

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