It took me a couple of days to write this review because I was still drunk when I woke up yesterday and that means that the hangover didn’t hit until around 2PM so I was pretty much useless the entire day. It’s okay, I deserved it.
Windhand rolled into Somerville, MA on their short run of shows on a Friday night at the best new club in the Boston area, ONCE, so of course I was gonna go. New locals Z/28
opened. Why you should care: former Grief frontman Jeff Hayward is on vocals and guitar here. Z/28 doesn’t roam too far into Grief territory, they’re somewhat more upbeat, not just oppressive life-ending doom (which is cool, don’t get me wrong). Their title song “Z/28” has a definite Fu Manchu thing going on, and there were some excellent guitar solos here and there as well. Riff rock is the name of the game here. They have a demo up now on Bandcamp (https://nobodyridesforfree.bandcamp.com/album/z28
), you’d be well advised to check it out. Good shit. Ilsa
was on second. I didn’t know anything about them before this show, but now I know. Crushing, screaming, plodding metal. Now I know. Heavy shit. Not very original, to be honest, but they’re definitely good at what they do. The set was kind of one big song to me, but I dug it. The kind of music you put on in the background while you try desperately to dissolve bodies in acid in your bathtub before the cops show up, you know what I’m talking about. Right?
At this point the drinks were flowing like water and ONCE was packed. Not sure if it sold out but it looked like it was. Then Windhand
hit the stage, the doom hammer was dropped and all bets were off. Thick molasses sludge oozed through the speakers and Dorthia Cottrell sang her ass off above it all. She was nice and high in the mix so you could clearly hear her vocals, which are somewhat buried on the records, and she sounded great. She’s the ace up their sleeve to separate Windhand from the rest of the sludge/doom pack. Instead of some bearded dude yelling that his stash is garbage and the universe is ending, you get these great melodic, haunting vocals that just mesmerize while the band sloshes around in the mud like pros. Excellent night all around. I mean, it had to be, since I wasn’t able to move yesterday.