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The Exorzist III cast out the demon of holiday malaise with new EP

With the “Holiday Seasonal Affective Disorder Season” now officially upon us no doubt you’ll be needing some down ’n’ dirty ear-shattering brain-pounding skull-scraping consciousness-obliterating rock ’n’ roll to help purge the memory of your Alcoholic Uncle trying to convert you to QAnon and to help with digesting all that leftover cold turkey. But without going cold turkey of course because you’ll wanna down a couple belts of single-barrel bourbon before cranking up Gospel Jamming vol. 1, which is the new rekkid by the avant-punk-freejazz-skronk-jam-band-minus-the-noodle-dancing-power-trio known as The Exorzist III, a rekkid that’ll stuff your skull full of a pulverizing wall of sound that’ll block the ability to mentally process anything other than the glorious cacophony entering your earholes. (just scroll over the graphic directly below to listen).

The Exorzist III is a power trio in its purest form that dispenses with unnecessary frivolities such as having a singer, focusing instead on rhythmically-and-sonically-intense explorations like the 15-minute opening track "Jabber" with its layers of ever-shifting polyrhythms and heavily fuzzed out bass (Von Finger) and alternately-plinky-and-oceanic electric guitar (Drew St. Ivany) all anchored to a triple-time ostinato until it finally climaxes with an all-out tsunami of sound that sees drummer Nick Ferrante riding the crash cymbal like John Bonham suffering from a panic attack and it’s maybe something like the music John Coltrane would've made if he’d lived and continued down the path of Interstellar Space but traded his sax for an ax and switched over to playing heavy metal sometime in the '70s and after all Trane was raised on gospel music so maybe that accounts for the EP’s title.

And then…it just ends. A pattern that holds true for all four songs on Gospel Jamming vol. 1 because clearly The Exorzist III can't be bothered to write actual endings and no doubt fadeouts are far too gauche so instead they just stop playing whenever they damn well feel like it including on the final track “EVK” which simply lifts the needle off the record and not even on a downbeat. Harsh! It’s somewhat equivalent to a horror movie “jump scare” or maybe more like its polar opposite, but jarring either way, which is maybe how they came up with the name The Exorzist III (besides the power trio factor natch) which savvy readers may notice is only one letter removed from The Exorcist III (1990, dir. William Peter Blatty) a movie that some say has the greatest jump scare in horror history (my vote is for the ending of Carrie but it’s a close call) not to mention the movie features both Fabio and Patrick Ewing in cameo roles playing angels (!) so why it’s not taught in film schools alongside Citizen Kane I can’t explain. 

There’s a certain horror soundtrack aesthetic at work elsewhere on the record too. Like on “Coffer” which starts off with a short looped segment of suspense-type music before adding a high-BPM-hardcore-punk beat with the ominous loop still going on underneath and then adding a dissonant guitar that sounds like rusted car pistons grinding metal-on-metal and a throbbing plodding baseline and it's like the music you'd expect to hear if you were being being chased by The Tall Man from the Phantasm movie series about a creepy elderly mortician who torments his victims with a custom-designed oversized pachinko ball that flies through the air chasing you down long empty corridors until it catches up to your ass and these little blades or drills or circular saws pop out and thrust right into your forehead or eye socket or lower back for chrissakes which is a pretty impressively random way to kill a person so give The Tall Man credit for never doing things the easy way and neither does The Exorzist III and oh yeah he’s the guy on the cover of Gospel Jamming vol. 1 so that’s pretty cool. (Jason Lee)





Avant

Time: 
21:00
Band name: 
Grex (OAK)
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
https://www.facebook.com/grexsounds
Venue name: 
Pete's Candy Store
Band email: 
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Indie Rock

Time: 
17:30
Band name: 
Golder
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100073566687031
Venue name: 
Bar Freda
Band email: 
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King of Nowhere go somewhere beautiful with "Real Men"

The song "Real Men" is a powerful coming out narrative that also serves as a sneak peak of King of Nowhere's upcoming album (King of Nowhere) to be released in January 2022. You can listen to the song directly below, just scroll over the graphic, Bandcamp embeds are sneaky that way! Note: their three previous full-to-fullish length records are embedded throughout the rest of this piece, in reverse order of date-of-release, to help you get boned up on King of Nowhere's past repertoire.

"Real Men" opens with a hushed tone and vivid imagery ("remember we were twelve / covered in mud, hopping downed trees") further intensified by the trappings of youth and fragility on display ("I teared up in my room, under blue curtains / with cartoon bugs on them") intensified further by the fear and confusion indirectly incited by the mud-covered childhood friend’s affection for our narrator who "hadn't learned just yet to recognize that kind of smile" even with his friend wearing a t-shirt with the printed slogan "real men wear pink" and all (to be fair, reading social cues isn’t the forte of most 12-year-olds) and if only we were all so lucky to have a precocious gender-norms-and-other-norms-questioning friend at such an impressionable age the world would probably be a better place.

But in "Real Men," composed by King of Nowhere's singer-songwriter-guitairst-producer Jesse French, the protagonist does have such a friend, and it seems to lead to an awakening, even if it didn’t take hold right in the moment because, in a tone tinged with regret, the lyrics describe how the song's 12-year-old-self reacted: "I said ‘it would suck to be gay’ and / welcome to the USA." At this point Jesse's voice falters and practically folds in on itself, with the music following suit, reduced to near total silence. But then, catharsis...



Up to this point the rhythm section of Dylan LaPointe and Vicente Hansen Atria (on bass and drums, respectively, and let's not forget the second guitarist known only as "Porter") have pushed the song along with a writing-in-my-journal-in-the-middle-of-the-night-with-a-flashlight-under-the-covers kind of vibe, with only a slight build in the first chorus to match the shift in perspective to the present day ("I'm sorry I never stood up and told you that you / you were as strong and bright as / I never wanted to be") but it's not until we reach the point where the song bottoms out as described above that it finds the courage to open itself up, and yes I'm describing recorded music as a sentient being and why not, jumping from a whisper to a lighter-waving guitar solo and a final-pent-up-emotional-dam-burst of a chorus, declaring "I'm sorry I never called you up and told you that you / you are an inspiration [...] I am so proud you made it / can't wait to open up like" at which point the song suddenly cuts off--which could be meant to indicate that the future is unwritten, and that the process of "opening up" is ongoing. (or maybe that the band ran out of tape. does anyone still record on tape?)

Final Thoughts: Maybe I'm reading into things here (hey that's what I barely get paid to do!) but one thing I think this song is telling us is that for our "reality" to change we first have to change some of our notions of what's deemed "real" in the first place (e.g. what is a "real man"?) and heck, even if you ignore the lyrics entirely "Real Men" may shake up your reality because between its tender, aching music and equally tender, aching vocals, and its butterfly-emerging-from-its-chrysalis climax, you're likely to find yourself all teary-eyed and gently sobbing under the duvet by the time it's all over. Unless you’re too hung up on masculine archetypes to allow yourself a good cry, that is. (Jason Lee)





Indie Rock

Time: 
19:00
Band name: 
Strangepride
FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
https://www.facebook.com/strangepridemusic
Venue name: 
Our Wicked Lady
Band email: 
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