with Bloodletter, Neurosis at Mama Kin
by Karl Geising
I showed up at the club suffering from a nine-hour workday and disappointment over unfounded rumors of GWAR playing. At 10:30, Bloodletter had been and gone and La Gritona was just finishing their set. As many of you know, La Gritona are one of Boston’s few good bands, easily levitating over the usual indie swill and three-chord power-pop pablum. Too bad this was their last show, suckers.
Then, it was time for warzone percussion and lower-register instrumentation. Synth-squeal noise and over-stressed vocal chords. Iconographic images projected onstage, turning band members into silhouetted marionettes. Yup, Neurosis was back in town. In their earlier days, Neurosis started as a hardcore/metal band; but they soon branched out in other, non-traditional directions. Taking a cue from fellow Californians, Crash Worship, they incorporated synth-noise and thudding percussion into their material, all the while retaining the good parts of their hardcore background. But they’re at their best when they’re experimental: the last half of their set is dominated by instruments feeding back while the entire band plays intricate syncopations on the drums, meters of fives and sevens flowing into each other effortlessly. The audience, of course, either left or stood around dumbstruck (and that’s by no means a bad thing in my book). As each member left the stage, the song slowly disintegrated, until all that was left was the drummer, now blasting gastrointestinal subharmonics through a long plastic pipe as the films spooled out behind him. Good closure for a swell evening’s entertainment.