I was in a rush. After two weekend night shifts, I am also the resident Sunday morning driver at my job. This means that my weekend plans are normally spoken for. It helps that I find myself working with the types of miscreants who also share the same style of plight which makes getting shifts covered a fairly easy negotiation. I have to admit that I do like my job, even after a year in.
I’ve known for at least a week that Sausage Fingers would be playing The Alumni Fest, sponsored by my friends in Come And Take It Productions, at The Dirty Dog (a local establishment on Dirty 6th which I have more history in that I would like to admit) at around 9:30 tonight. Strange to know that as I write this, it’s only 10 minutes to midnight. And the beginning of their set was only a couple of hours and change ago.
Luckily for me, today is a Sunday, and getting my shift covered wasn’t necessary. I had just enough time to get home, take a nap, get in a quick workout, take a shower and walk my dogs while making it to the club just as Sausage Fingers were setting up.
Now.. Why did I possess such a motivation to witness this band with the silly name?
Two immediate reasons: First – my younger brother is the drummer in this quasi-neo-GWAR-meets-Crotchduster outfit, and I know – in the way that only somebody who learned their respective instruments together can understand – the appreciation that comes with watching said musical alumnus adding their own particular style to an already established live act. Second, they were the only band on the bill doing what they do.
They, like my own band, Of The Sun, upon our last performance at Dirty Dog, found ourselves amongst a hodgepodge of young, impressionable youths who somehow expected to find better results by doing the same approach to the stage that was attempted by multiple other acts before and after them: i.e., the definition of insanity.
Plenty of style, chops, choreography, tonal capacity… Synced up… stage.. moves…
Oh, who the Hell am I trying to kid by being nice? I fucking hated it.
I often times get the feeling that I’m just watching a bunch of dudes work out when I see technically different bands (different names, different members) get up and do the same thing, one after the other, for hours. I feel like they’re really playing the show for themselves and for the other bands. Basically spotting each other to keep an eye on their form and see what they might be doing right or wrong in an attempt to create “the next big, sexy ‘metal’ band”. Just move to fucking L.A. already, and get off of my lawn!
Alright. Enough with the hate. Let me introduce you to my friends.
This was my second time seeing Sausage Fingers perform at Dirty Dog in probably as many times as they have been playing shows with live drums (not including house parties)- opposed to the drum machine they had been using before adding the character Spasmodeus to their mythical retinue.
Did I mention that they write scripts and play out different stories for each show they play? Because they do. And it’s fucking hilarious. Everybody around me was laughing, smiling and having a great time watching this monstrosity get up and dance.
The story line this time began with a child losing his favorite crayon, somehow shifted gears to “punching ‘the hu-man Doe-nald Trump’ in the face with [my] dick” (complete with a Trump-like pinata, which they tossed into the crowd to tear apart), and concluded with the introduction of Spasmodeus to the realm of the trans-dimensional duo (now power trio) of Doctor Smoldyface and Tsar-Djent Peckerhead – with his own theme song and everything. Let me know if this gets confusing.
The only thing that could have been done better, and I’ve expressed these sentiments to the guys in the band: the tones are really muddy. It could have been a product of the sound system at the club, but I doubt it. “The Dog” has a brand new P.A., the engineer is highly capable, and every band after them had great tone, albeit at the expense of individuality. So, great show, guys. You really grabbed the people’s attention and made an impression. The people there won’t forget seeing you play; that’s for sure. Once you get your tone game together, you’ll really be ready to take some heads.
Sausage Fingers were followed by two nondescript Periphery and Bring Me The Horizon carbon copies respectively. I stopped paying attention.
I stepped outside to talk to my brother Patrick about goings-on with Of The Sun, and we stopped for a second to have a look at who would be the last band of the night. I made an admittedly smug remark along the lines of, “Oh, When Forever Ends.. What kind of music do you think they’ll be?”, expecting yet another band of black-clad, style-over-substance parrots.
However, as I watched them setting up, I noticed obvious differences. First off, their gear wasn’t brand new. Meaning that chances were good they weren’t spoiled brats who caught a ride to Guitar Center with their parents who offered to buy them a successful career in music. The drums looked at least ten years old, possibly even hand-me-downs. So that was interesting. And the bass player was playing what was probably his first bass ever – a short-scale, adolescent-sized Ibanez 5 string. But from one bass player to another, if you’re going to be an adult, play an adult-sized bass, Johnny Cut-Corners.
The other, more obvious abnormality separating them from the aerobics-metal trope was that their lead singer looked like a skinny high school nerd. And he wasn’t trying to hide it behind contact lenses or a fashionable haircut. He reminded me of Milo from The Descendents. He was also sporting a bitchin’ wolf T-shirt. So these kids didn’t give a shit about how they looked! How about that?!
So, doing a little background check on these guys, I see that they are indeed young… and Christian. Which, back in my own days of misguided adolescence, would have been enough for me to slam them on the spot. But now I don’t give a shit. As long as you’re not trying to convert people, if you play well and are interesting to me, say what you gotta say, lads! Besides, they’re from Waco. Take it easy on them.
I actually found myself enjoying this band. They’ve got heart. They’re trying something different. And apart from the Paul Waggoner clone standing in the corner doing the majority of the finger-tapping and looking disinterested, I didn’t see them trying to cop anybody else’s style.
Until they started doing the jumping-in-unison thing. Come on, kids. You don’t need that. Besides, God Forbid happened like 15 years ago.
So listen up, ya youngins! Uncle David’s gonna break you off a piece.
Do your own thing. You’re already headed in the right direction. Don’t fall for trying to keep up with the other bands from your high school. It’s a waste of time. Trust me. I’ve been there. Just keep pushing yourselves, and find your own musical identity. Be weird. Be Milo. Milo is cool. Milo is your friend.