Last week we posted an article about Denver’s Electric Funeral Festival. This week we’ll be taking a closer look at the bands that played. As you may have figured out by it’s name, Electric Funeral was a doom/stoner/sludge metal festival. The Sabbath references were all over; whether it be in the music, the audience, the clothing or the look of the bands and their fans. In our previous post about Electric Funeral (here) you can read about the overview of the festival. It was a stellar event that was all about the music. With 36 bands playing we were not able to check out every single one, but at least we were able to see most of them. In this post we want to focus on the first day of music. We also want to take this time to give a HUGE thanks to the bands for coming out to play and for giving it their all in the name of music. Every musician I spoke with had an incredible passion for their craft. We also want to thank the venues for hosting: 3 Kings Tavern and The Hi Dive. Their commitment to making this great was very apparent.
Lords of Beacon House
LOBH is a trio from L.A. The best description we can give you is a Sabbath-y, psychedelic, fuzz child from SoCal. In this writers opinion, the recorded material is awesome but the live version of these guys are even better. LOBH have a few dates on the West Coast this summer with more dates to be scheduled. The band has been featured in U.K.’s Classic Rock Magazine as well as a compilation, “Riders on the Storm – 16 Psychedelic Rock Nuggets to Blow Your Mind”. Even though the band went on early with a bit thinner of a crowd than those that were scheduled later, the guys put their all into the set and made some good fans in Denver. They also debuted a few new songs off of their latest self-titled album. Take some time to give them a listen, I recommend this video of a live performance to get the full affect.
High on the Mountain
Another trio, these guys are from the Denver area. The last time we got to see them play, bassist/vocalist Mike had laryngitis or something similar that made him sound even more like an instrument of evil. The sound was awful in the venue last time, too. But, we found out on the first night of E.F.F. that these guys are definitely a cool doom band that should be heard. When I spoke with Mike on day two of the show about his sound, he said, “I think we are pushing to more of a Rock and Roll band, a certain amount of heaviness just comes out and that’s not entirely intentional but, ya know, it’s halfway between where you envision it and where it ends up”. We had trouble finding anything online about these guys, but if you are in the Denver area, keep your eyes peeled for them.
Two-piece bands have always had me a little confused: “What happened to the other members?” “Is this gonna work?” are a few questions that cross my mind. In the end, most times, those questions are laid to rest, as was the case with Oryx. “A meager duo, drummer Abbey Apple and guitarist/vocalist Tommy Davis deliver a full backline’s-worth of damage live and on record, swelling with dynamic excursions through the slow-motion realms of demolition”. That may just be a proper description. It comes from the band themselves and I couldn’t have said it any better. The music is a combo of Death Metal and Doom, which, played by a two-piece, makes for interesting listening. Check the band out online. They have just finished a new record that will be out soon!
Dallas, Texas band Smokey Mirror sounds like something that came straight from the 60’s. These guys are a little more bluesy than others at this festival. The second song on their set reminded me of Crosstown Traffic. Very much a jam band, these guys could make a song 15 minutes long and not loose the audience. The drummer was limited to a smaller set but did not let it limit him on the sound that he was able to produce. You can hear all kinds of influences in their music besides the Hendrix reference made here; Motörhead, Parliment and Black Metal can also be heard. If any of these peak your interest, check them out at this page.
A combo of punk and doom, Denver’s own Muscle Beach put on an electrifying set. The singer must not be able to speak for days after a show; the scream that comes out of this guy is tremendous. Punk rock madness fueled by the heavy of doom. They’ve also been support for The Dillinger Escape Plan, so look ’em up and see what they are all about here.
All the way from Austin, Texas, Greenbeard brought their A-game. The Les Paul/Orange Amp combo provided a super grooved-out background to the “stoney” lyrical content. More than one song was devoted to their affinity to the locally legal substance enjoyed throughout the festival. Born in 2014, they have quite the number of impressive festivals on their list of achievements. With a handful of dates listed only in Texas, you may have to wait a bit to see them. It is worth the wait. Being the guitar junkie that I am, these guys definitely had some of the best playing at the festival. Check out their latest release, Lödarödböl, which confuses the shit out of Google translate, so we will leave that to the band to explain. Find them online and give the guys some love..
“Seeping to the surface through the cracks of the Oragoua Mountains, a place unknown to man, twisted within light and darkness, smoke has risen with low earth tones and surface rumbles fierce to all beings. Communion is born”. A fitting back story of Communion, as provided by them. Nowhere does it say Sabbath-on-quaaludes, but that is what came to mind while listening to them. They are so low and doom-y that my balls were vibrating on the bar stool as I sat and watched in pleasant horror. They have a few shows in Texas and one planned at Reggie’s in Chicago. Catch them live if you can and find them online here.
With all members living in the Denver area now, The Munsens are poised to make a big splash on the music scene. The promoter for this event, Shaun Goodwin, whom we have sung praise for in our previous post, plays guitar in this group. He also played drums in another band. Promotion, guitar and drum duties! The Munsens took the stage at The Hi Dive and quickly proved that they deserved to be there. It was doom, sludge, wicked-heavy and all of the other fun shit that comes with those adjectives. The band released an E.P. last fall titled “Abbey Rose” and have plans to release a follow-up full-length this summer. The guys are hitting the road in early July, bringing the doom to the western half of the U.S. near the end of July. Check here to see if they are terrorizing your town.
With most bands on this bill being a 3-piece, it was surprising to see that these guys had three guitar payers. They came 17 hours from San Diego to play and the crowd was glad that they did. Very much a psychedelic/jam band, Monarch would let loose a 3-guitar jam that would have concertgoers entranced. The band touched on their many influences to create a surreal experience for the listener. I was unable to stay for the whole set but very much have them on my own personal radar to check out again. If you are looking for something a little different, an otherworldly experience, check them out at this link.
I saw a guy bringing an old-school scythe into the show and wondered what the hell was going on. Turns out it was the lead singers mic stand. At first glance, the band seemed to be like a Spinal Tap rip-off. They are very theatrical and have some very over-the-top stage antics. Once the music started flowing, the audience really started to get into it. My impression of them changed drastically in the first ten minutes of their set. I really started to feel it and I could see that everyone else in the crowd did to. When it came to the scythe, the lead singer obviously practices his movements because, on a stage that size, someone should have been sliced. He knew what he was doing. R.I.P. had a little Thrash-feel to their music, way more uptempo than most of the bands. Definitely a sight to behold, find them here.
The Well, from Austin, Texas, has a real gritty blues sound. The band, also a three-piece, has a dual vocal set up with a very fresh sound. The rhythm section creates such a huge sound that the guitar player could really slack if he wanted to; he doesn’t though. Dude could sure play his instrument. “I absolutely love Samsara by The Well. It’s chill, it’s metal, it’s kinda stone-y, it’s psychedelic, it’s doom, it’s bluesy, it’s well thought out…all in all, it’s a solid album.” – Echoes & Dust– We couldn’t agree more. Check them out to see what they are all about here. The Well was definitely one of the best performances I saw over the weekend.
This rundown showcases only the bands that we were able to see in person on the first day of Electric Funeral Festival. I was very impressed with all of them. They all had their own feel, their own groove and kept spectators tuned in. Please check these guys out. Don’t be lazy and skip over the article and breeze through it. If you truly consider yourself a music fan, no matter what you like, there is something here that you will groove on for years to come. The bands that we didn’t witness are included in the links below. Take the time and see what your thoughts are. Astatine Music’s thoughts: Very Cool Music.
Corky Laing’s Mountain