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Chaos Coming: Smart indie-rockers Chaos Lounge head up a night of locals at the Catalyst Thursday.

Notes From The Underground

Metal Rain:
The artists still known as Herbert bring a bit of Sabbath to a Catalyst Thursday

By Matt Koumaras

FROM STEVE'S OMINOUS, extended bass drum intro, Herbert brought down the dark, apocalyptic rain Jan. 27 at the Catalyst. Mike's solo on "Crow" flew past Icarus to beyond a burning metal sun. Mason's bass groove to "Wanderlust" was more powerful than playing Doom with Geezer Butler while eating pentagram-shaped brownies. Seeing Herbert live is like having your senses put on puree in the blender--your eyeballs won't believe what your ears have heard. Due to string breakage and no backup guitar on "The Monster," Herbert's set seemed short. But it's like Mrs. Bobbit once told me during my Ginsu knife door-to-door sales rep days: "It's not the length that matters--it's the quality." Herbert exudes quality.

Fiend Master Freak has been stirring up an imaginative, rap/funk metal cauldron since 1987. They are so underground, they reportedly "make fliers for shows and don't even put them up." DJ High-C scratched slick, mystery spots on records and strangled them dead. Flip slammed down some beefy, No Means No-like bass bombs as human cannonball Kevin rapped with a passion about society's hegemony. Damn, this band is so old-school their only local rival is Buck, the old curmudgeon who plays the spoons Sundays at the Lyons bingo marathon.

Wrecking Space

Before the call of the wrecking ball came through the walls of the Bulkhead Street Art Warehouse, Sin and Space crumbled down exterior mortar with a solid rock set Jan. 26. The boys and girls of Sin and Space completely pissed me off--why did I spend all my change at the Rush Inn jukebox playing Jim Nabors tunes when I could have bought this band's demo tape, cruelly shopped around during the band's moody set? Kristen whipped out some awesome country-tinged sliding guitar leads that chiseled eardrums to a perfect shape. "Satellite" revolved around a sparkling dual guitar riff as Cassidy's porcelain vocal sighs tethered themselves into the mouthpiece of evil. The bluesy "She's a Goner" ditty was quite reminiscent of the fragmented love tales of "Surfer Rosa" in half time and without the Spanish-as-a-second-language tutelage.

The Philistine Tent Revival should have the word fantastic drilled to their name in neon and capitals. Just when you think you think you've pinned the tail on every indie ass, the band slaps you on the behind with a wet towel signed by the Who and Led Zeppelin. Ethan and fellow disciples of the unpredictable baptized the masses with a set that had shiny shoes shuffling. Call it indie, call it classic rock, all I know is that this band makes my pelvis penetrate to a primal groove, spanking it along until sweat dripped from every pore.

Upcoming

Thursday, Robot God, Chaos Lounge, Live Wire and Clark W. Griswald play the Catalyst; Friday, "Death to the Pixies" benefit with Estradesphere, the Lowdown, Cherry Ames, the What-Nots, Ten in the Swear Jar and stupid-band-name-of-the-year nominee My Peanut Is the Ultimate Dandy at Kresge Town Hall at 7pm; also Friday, "Punk Night at the Brookdale Lodge" with special guests; Saturday, Subtle Oak Complexity, Cherry Ames, Pocket for Corduroy and Dolores play at the Stevenson Rec Room at 8pm; also Saturday, the Strange, Galadriel and Hot Box play Callahan's.

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From the February 2-9, 2000 issue of Metro Santa Cruz.

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