Metal music is madness
April 13, 2005
Filed under Features
Local heavy-metal music may only appeal to avid fans, who must have developed an appreciation for amateur heavy-metal aggression.
Studio 99, located on 3004 Antonia Street, just down the street from Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, has an assortment of garage metal bands performing Saturday nights. On March 4, the featured bands were J.E.R.K., Lords of Anger, Flatline, Daemos and Relapse Trigger.
All the bands produce a harsh rock music, accompanied with profane and incoherent lyrics. Of the five bands, only three had a distinct sound and stage performance. The band members of Lords of Anger were indeed “lords of anger.”
When Johnny Langham, the lead singer, wasn’t throwing around the F-word and spitting his drinking water at the audience, he was screaming abrasively into the microphone for long durations of time.
The band members, who were dressed in causal clothing, were very languid in their performance. One of the guitarists occasionally nursed a Bud Lite, and Langham spent five minutes in between songs talking to the audience and asking them if they were drunk yet. The audience, however, reacted more strongly to Langham’s inquiry than the band’s performance.
The band Flatline was the most passionate group of performers, whose outrageous theatrics made one look past the distorted noise. All the group members were either convulsing or head banging. The lead singer at one point was gripping the microphone and thrashing it against his head.
The audience was very stimulated by Flatline’s performance. Ten minutes into their show, the crowds in front of the stage began moshing.
The band J.E.R.K., which stands for “just for everyday radio killers,” was one of the only bands that didn’t provoke its audience. Their music wasn’t exactly a classical allegro, but it produced a welcoming sound.
Their lyrics were somewhat comprehensible, and their music had some rhythmic qualities that made it sound less like senseless raucous noise. The lead singer, Jeff Eddy, put on a more subtle but passionate performance, with his theatrical movements and dramatic facial expressions.
The J.E.R.K. band members personified a very typical rocker image, with long hair, dark-frayed clothing with the exception of Eddy, who had a short conservative haircut and wore a pressed sweater vest.
The studio itself was not conventional. It was a small warehouse in front of what appeared to be a wrecking yard. The interior was insulated with plywood, white sheets hung from the ceiling over a black-and-white checkered linoleum floor. In spite of the apparent attempt to renovate a warehouse into a studio, it was more like a neighbor’s garage, a very cantankerous neighbor.