The Housecore Records Showcase In New Orleans; Includes Video
Band Photo: Crowbar (?)
Housecore Records is pumping out some awesome music these days. Although relatively quiet in the past, it’s owner Philp Anselmo of Down and Pantera notoriety is working with the bands he signed on to get their albums out, get them on the road, and get Housecore out there for everyone to enjoy. To celebrate the beginning of something big, Housecore Records put on a show of a few of their biggest bands; sludge legends Crowbar, Phil’s favorites haarp, and classic thrashers Warbeast all the way from Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. I was able to get footage of each band of the night. The decibel level was very high, however, so the sound is slightly grainy. If you see any people wearing shiny party hats in the videos, it’s because it was my birthday. I passed out the hats to my friends and they went in the mosh pit with them.
haarp, releasing their first full-length next month, commanded the attention of everyone in attendance. The sheer intensity of their sludgy songs drew people in and made them stare. Vocalist Shaun walked right off the stage and rambled around the thick crowd. The rowdy men swarmed around him, pushing him and pulling his arms to get to the mic. Phil Anselmo walked beside him headbanging, occasionally taking the mic to sing a line with him. All the guys rocked on their feet and felt the vibe. Ryan on the bass and Grant on the guitar played achingly slow deep, dark riffs that rattled the amps and steel walls of The Hangar. Keith slowly banged the drums to the rhythm of the riffs. haarp’s songs are so long that their nearly hour long set only included five songs; the first, third, and fifth of which will be on the album. The other two songs were two parts of a new, yet-to-be-titled piece. And the second part was played first just to keep the people who see every show haarp plays on their toes. “All, Alone,” “Untitled Part 2,” “A New Reign,” “Untitled Part 1,” “Here in the Dark.”
Warbeast drove down from their home in central Texas to be a part of the showcase, but they did not just come for the show. They spent the week at Phil’s home recording some new material, so they decided to play their album “Krush the Enemy in its entirety to promote that album before any more come to be. Bruce Korbitt’s amazing and unique voice soared over the music and was forefront of the sound. He grasped the chainlink microphone stand and fiercely sung into it. Guitarist Scott Shelby and new guitarist Bobby Tillotson shredded riffs together. The solos were completely classic thrash. Drummer Joe Gonzales told me earlier that he believes that his abilities behind the skins are getting better than he thought they could. He was right; his drumming is more enthusiastic and dead-on than ever. The setlist (and tracklisting to the album “Krush the Enemy”) was “Krush the Enemy,” “Unleashed,” “Self Will Run Riot,” “The Plague at Hand,” “Born with a Blackened Heart,” “Scorched Earth Policy,” “Guardian Angel,” “The Controller,” “Stalker,” and “We are the Vultures.”
Crowbar was delayed a bit by one member who was M.I.A. Vocalist and guitarist Kirk Windstein explained that drummer Tommy Buckley was almost done smoking and would be there momentarily. When he got stage with the others the emcee introduced Crowbar as the “godfathers of sludge.” Kirk calmly said, “We’re Crowbar from New Orleans, and we’re going to clean your clock.” That’s my favorite expression for receiving a beating, And beat the audience with sludge as heavy as Big Ben. They played their favorite song “The Lasting Dose,” which is never excluded from their shows. Kirk stood in one place and closed his eyes as he sang from the heart about struggling with addictions and other woes. No matter what Tommy was doing before he got on stage, his booming drums dragged the slow, brooding music through the set. Crowbar is currently working on a brand-new piece of sludge that will surely assault your ears, but nothing compares to seeing the real thing.
The Housecore Showcase was one of the best shows of the year so far. Everyone was really into the bands, no one could tear away from the show to hang outside and look cool. It was pretty rowdy in the pit, too. Just an extension of the aggression of the metal bursting through amps.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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