with Spore and Green Magnet School at the Middle East Cafe
by Karl Geising
photo by Dya Khalsa
First off, let me say that I went to this show with more than a little trepidation. I’d never heard the band, and I’ve seen enough bad live acts in this town to make me a little cynical. Well, I needn’t have worried. From what I saw that night, Neurosis are just a great band. When I got there, the stage manager was just setting up the film projectors, all three of which were showing disturbing but well-done images of various nasty things strewn together on one screen. I’ve always been a fan of live acts that incorporate multimedia into live music, and this was definitely a plus in my book.
Then the music started, and it was LOUD. Lots of guitars, screamed vocals and brutal percussion (at one point, both of the guitarists were beating the skins along with the drummer). As the show progressed, one of the things that impressed me the most was the fact that they knew how to put dynamics into music. Bring it down, until it’s just a stomach-churning bass rumble, like a pressure-cooker ready to explode. And when the band kicked in, the crowd did indeed explode, with slam-dancing ranging from semi-annoying to very violent depending upon how many Biohazard fans you could fit in the pit. With the only lighting coming from the films and the mass of sweaty, undulating bodies, the club began to look like an urban hell (and this is the Middle East, fer chrissakes).
As you could guess, this band isn’t for everyone. You won’t find many pop-punk fans in the audience, and I’m sure that all twelve of Green Magnet School‘s other fans hated them. But if you’ve ever been a fan of aggressive music, a great live show, or any music genre with “-core” in its name, then you MUST see this band. This is an experience you can’t miss at any cost. And they’ve got a new CD out on Alternative Tentacles called Enemy of the Sun, which ain’t too shabby neither.