Reviews! Shramana, Ambassador Gun

June 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

The shows I saw this past week all kind of blur together in a blend of PBR, dad cans, whiskey, loud noise and silently suffering through a hangover around my visiting parents.

My weekend ended up being more metal than usual, with Shramana and Throne of Lies on Saturday and Ambassador Gun and Throne of Lies (again) Sunday. Lots of denim jackets and exuberant hair flipping, which is hilarious. Heavy metal just seems SO SILLY to me, said your editor who wears Queers t-shirts and paid money to skank to Reel Big Fish.

True story: One time I showed my little sister what skanking is, and she laughed for ten minutes and said I made it up.

So my point is, while I might find other subcultures silly or weird, I can’t throw stones in my own dorky glass house. I am currently playing a Whitesnake record, after all.


Family stuff kept me from seeing any of the opening hardcore acts Saturday, but hopefully I’ll get to see My Two Dads at some point. I did catch a bit of the appropriately-scuzzy Swamp Ritual, and, fine, the Motorhead cover was awesome.

I haven’t seen Shramana in at least a year, and I agree with McMackin’s Independent write-up last week that they’re really honing into something good, metal of a kind that veers between tempos that are easy to head-bob to into more punishing breakdowns. I found Shramana was best enjoyed while sitting in the back, feet propped up, wearing aviator sunglasses, so I looked like the biggest douche ever but could freely check out people’s asses.

Also, props to Rashid (of Throne of Lies) for being good at talking to cops and getting them to leave. Also, props to people who brought their beverages inside the venue and were well behaved about subtly drinking on the corner afterward. Yay for nobody being an asshole and yay for the show getting to continue! Everybody wins, especially me because I kept getting handed beers from nice dudes.

SUNDAY AT VFW: Talk about 180-degree change in a show. I got to the VFW around 10:30 figuring a band would probably be playing, but it was eerily quiet and about five people were at the bar. As I came in, Marty announced that Blue Ox canceled because a guitarist almost cut off his leg with a chain saw. Most valid (and metal) reason to skip out on a show ever. I tried to get more details on this–who the fuck is using a chain saw on tour?–but haven’t heard any more since.

So that left Throne of Lies, Minneapolis’ Ambassador Gun and our own Buddy Jackson for the evening’s entertainment, and nobody was at the goddamn venue because Primus hadn’t let out yet and a bunch of people were drinking at Savoy. Throne of Lies–which I’d describe as ‘metal as fuck’–started about 11, and I really wanted to stand up front with the three other people supporting them, but they are also really goddamn loud and I’m partially deaf as it is, so I had to leave partway through for earplugs. Also true story: I called Holiday and asked if they had ear plugs, and when I got there the cashier had them up on the counter to ring up for me. This town. Aw shucks.

So it took about ten minutes to come back from Holiday, and I got another beer and sat down and chatted with folks, and turned around and the place was suddenly packed with people I’d never seen before, apparently Kalispell folks who came over after Primus.

Ambassador Gun was awesome. This review calls them a “punk as fuck, grind-infused almagamation of revulsion” and I lack any better descriptors than that. A dude was wearing a backpack in the pit, though, which is not fucking cool if you know what it’s like to be a bystander thwacked by a giant bag. It’s the VFW. Set your backpacks down, first.

Most people split afterwards, but enough stuck around for Buddy Jackson to at least have an audience. After all the heavy bands, it was good to hear a refreshing blast of bouncy punk, and I’m not just saying that because I would really like Nick to burn me Game of Thrones. (Pretty please?)

Anyhoo, here’s hoping the after parties were fun and nobody’s deaf today. I need a nap.

ABOVE: Reggie of Shramana, via lousy cell photo.



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