Last Night Akimbo’s Tenth Birthday @ King Cobra
posted by September 28 at 16:02 PMon
Helms Alee just might be my new favorite local band. I’ve been spinning their debut full-length Night Terror constantly over the last month, but somehow I had missed seeing them live until last night. Though the record is great, their live show is amazing. They are loud and brutal, dark and mysterious, melodic and triumphant. Their wall of sound is all-consuming, something you might expect from a guitar player who builds amps in his spare time. There was some conversation on Line Out a few months ago (in regards to Tacocat I believe) about positive and talented female bands in Seattle. Somehow Helms Alee didn’t come up in the discussion, which is a shame, because as a 2/3 female band, not only are they the most talented girl band in town (technically they’re from Tacoma), they’re one of the best bands, period. In fact, I would go as far to say that I have never seen a female drummer as impressive as Helms Alee’s Hozoji Matheson-Margullis. She is pure talent – precise, creative, dynamic, explosive… I was blown away.
I missed Steve Von Till. My buddy was in town from Oregon, and well, Neurosis dude lost out. But I made it back over for Akimbo, as this was their big night and I love them dearly. They played their new record Jersey Shores from start to finish, and from the initial live debut it would appear that they’ve got a great record on their hands. It’s got the trademark blistering riffs they’ve made their name on, but Jersey Shores sees Akimbo slowing it down, moving into territory that’s almost reminiscent of ISIS. After seeing the band play virtually the same set for the last few years it was great to hear all new material (even though Jersey Shores was recorded in the same session as their last record Navigating the Bronze, and they’ve just been sitting on it). Though they’ve decided to slow it down a bit after ten years, Akimbo is not about to become a drone metal band. The waters settle only momentarily, then explode into a full-blown shark attack.
A perfect cap to the evening: I leave King Cobra to go see if I can check out any of Monotonix through the Comet window and find the entire crowd has spilled out onto the streets, with singer Ami Shalev scaling the side of the building, jumping into the crowd, and running down Pike street followed by a line of screaming fans, banging on a snare drum. It was tough deciding not to see that band, but the taste of craziness they gave me for free out on the streets should be enough to tide me over until next time.