Flush It Friday: Bounding Westward


Bow down.

Last Friday, I spent the evening on Atlanta’s West End, in an area that has grown gradually more crowded over the last few years with breweries and food halls and climbing gyms and other Beltline-adjacent activities in dusty old warehouses. It’s also the home of Boggs Social & Supply, a dive bar that’s been around for all of five minutes but is so natural in its decor, ambiance, sociality, and act billing that it could’ve literally sprouted out of the grown as-is three decades ago and it wouldn’t feel any different. Boggs has more or less adopted the mantle as “the place where dope smaller metal and punk shows happen that used to happen at 529 or the EARL but don’t anymore for whatever reason,” and they have adopted that mantle with aplomb. Though I don’t venture that way often enough, every time I do, I think to myself, “Damn, I really oughtta do this more often.” I might not feel as comfortably as part of the living accoutrements of an institution and home base like the EARL, but the feeling, even after so little time, isn’t far off. May we all be blessed with such wonderful and welcoming dives.

Before coming down with a nasty case of being a huge nerd, Eenzy was supposed to accompany that Friday to a show with such a stacked bill it almost felt unfair. I almost used my dear friend Eenzy’s legitimate excuse of being ill to bail on a show because, Christ, who wants to be 37 and alone at a metal show? But, because I am so strong, I persevered and attended, and my perseverance and strength and fortitude and bravery in the face of the direst situations has never borne such fruit. Your thoughts and prayers were answered, and I appreciate all the donations to my GoFundMe. I couldn’t have done this without all of my supporters. You’re the real MVP.

DC’s fastest death metal band Goetia opened the night, performing a blistering set that had me rethinking last year’s EP. Not to overlook Matt Scott’s high-pitched, unnerving rasp that calls to mind death metal’s earliest, most amorphous days, nor Aidan Tydings-Lynch’s grinning mania behind the drumset, but guitarist Demir Soyer stole the show. With a Palestinian flag draped over his amp, Soyer simply dared the rapt crowd not to melt their own faces at his grinding, flying, flailing, dynamic rock and roll fuck you look at how good I am at this but I’m still nothin’ but a grindcore nerd energy. I was agog the entire set. Plus, my god, what friendly folks! Go see ’em and chat with ’em.

Next was Melbourne’s Altars, blessing we Stateside souls with their Oceanic brand of nearly-impossible-to-follow-because-I’m-not-smart-enough death metal that simply must come from another dimension. On top of a charming episode where one of Dan Nahum’s cymbals toppled over after being ever so slightly knocked into by guitarist Lewis Fischer, the band was in peak condition. Draped seductively in a pink cut-off Sonja shirt, beloved Toileteer Brendan Sloan commanded the set, while I sat staring at Fischer’s fretwork, wondering how anyone could figure out how to write or even play such songs. If Brendan is to believed, future Altars material will be even more off the rails. I’m sure of it.

And then, really, what else is there to say about Sonja? That they’re maybe the best hard rock band on the planet? That the type of gothy 80s rock they play is too sexy for words? That Melissa’s outfits slay? That the only problem with the set was that it wasn’t longer? There’s such a sense of ease, a sense of direction, a sense of a band knowing exactly what they’re doing, how they’re doing it, why they’re doing it, that you are just utterly and totally seduced by the whole thing. Give me all of it all of the time.

In some ways, it felt like every band was making room and time for Wayfarer to take the stage and take up the room and take out all the oxygen and then breathe it back into all of us in a beautiful act of conspiring. Playing a mix of songs from American Gothic and A Romance with Violence, Wayfarer very much played the role of a band, not unlike Sonja, completely in control of their craft. There is this thing they do, this dusty-road Morricone tumbleweeds black metal, that is so singular, only ever calling to my mind fellow Coloradans TG Olsen and Across Tundras, who chase those tumbleweeds down stoner, drone, and noise paths. It’s the West of Cormac McCarthy and Percival Everett, one marked by an inescapable violence but not a violence that necessarily has to define who you are or what you do in response to that violence. (More Everett-ian than McCarthy-ian, in that case.) There will be violence and blood and a god-shocked landscape, but there’s a vigilance and vigour that might just see us through. After closing with “Masquerade of the Gunslingers,” the band took a brief bow and breather only to come back to truly end the night with “Animal Crown,” a fitting culmination if ever there was one.

Some shows remind you why you ever started going to shows in the first place. Some shows are so good they remind you why we’re all here: to flush!

Lots of good stuff (and some truly horrid No’s) from Stick. Roldy dropped the casket on us on Tuesday, as he does every week.

There’s two As in Aaron and three toilets in his review of Darkthrone‘s 90th album.

Review: Darkthrone – It Beckons Us All

Aaron double-dippin’ with a rippin’ review of Full of Hell‘s newest LP. (LP stands for Laser Pixels.)

Review: Full Of Hell – Coagulated Bliss

Toilet Radio 496 ought to be the last one after the musical war crimes of the featured bands in this week’s episode. Joe n Jordan always make it fun.

Toilet Radio 496 – The Little Text on the Big Fest

365 with a little bit o’ dys and a little bit o’ dat with this exclusive premiere of Dysrhythmia‘s newest song.

Premiere: Dysrhythmia – Coffin of Conviction

I’m an industry plant, funded by Transcending Obscurity, to bring you the finest in riffery. New stuff from Swelling Repulsion. Get swole.

Exclusive Track Premiere: Swelling Repulsion’s “Basking in Fumes of Failure”

Big week on the Toilet! Make sure you go back through the posts, read the reviews and premieres, leave some comments, spread the love, give me a cyber smooch, tell me about a cool show you recently attended or are stoked about attending in the (near) future. Then, after all that, gimme those gorgeous, intimate GBUs. I can’t wait to read ’em. Love love love.

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