Thrones, The Need, Federation X, Behead The Prophet No Lord Shall Live: March 22 at Make.Shift
The hype surrounding this show since it was announced months ago was huge, and for good reason. For one thing, it was the return of Behead the Prophet No Lord Shall Live, which is a band I had never heard of prior to the show announcement, but apparently many of others in the scene had. Also, it was a rare Bellingham appearance by The Need from Olympia. Then you top that off with a set by the bass god, Joe Preston, in Thrones and a set of new songs from Bellingham legends Federation X. Needless to say, this was a stacked line-up that can easily take the crown as the best line-up of 2013 when all is said and done.
Thrones opened the night with a great set of bass-heavy songs. If you do not know Thrones, it is Joe Preston on bass accompanied by backing tracks. Preston is perhaps best known for being in pretty much every influential sludge and drone metal band you can think of (the Melvins, Sunn O))) and Earth, to name a few.) His set was momentarily paused due to some sound issues, but once that was all figured out, the rest of the set went off without a hitch.
The next band up was The Need, who I had never heard of but quickly stole the whole show for me. The band is a three-piece, all-female band. The drummer/lead singer of the band played a drum kit that was a mixture of regular and electronic drums, along with a cowbell that got plenty of use throughout the set—she also played the drums standing up ala the Violent Femmes. The music was heavy most of the time, dance-worthy some of the time, and was all-around badass. Attending as many shows as I do, it is often hard to be surprised by a band you have never heard of before and they usually tend to be easy to describe, but the Need are one of those bands that I was totally taken aback by. Their music went from riot grrl punk, to slow, almost doomy metal, to post-punk and back. Either way, I hope their appearance in Bellingham was not a one-off thing as they are one of my new favorite bands and I want to see them again…and again…and again.
By now, everyone reading this should already know who Federation X is. Fresh off recording a new album, the boys of Fed X played a set that was heavy with their new material, which is fresh but also in line with the work they have done to this point. The guitars are still heavy, the riffs are still fat, the songs are still catchy as shit and the drums will still drive you into a frenzy. There is no doubt Fed X is still on top of their game and I can’t wait to hear the new album, which will surely be played on an endless loop like “Rally Day,” and the other great albums that comprise the rest of their catalogue.
Then there was Behead the Prophet No Lord Shall Live. This band has not played in years due to the death of violinist Michael Griffen, and features the drumming talents of Jordan Rain (aka the Yogoman in Yogoman Burning Band and the resident soul spinner at the Green Frog on Tuesdays.) Apparently, before Mr. Rain played feel-good reggae jams he was the drummer for one of the rowdiest noise-punk bands in the Pacific Northwest. Their set was short and frenzied and blew the minds of every person crammed into the sweaty basement of the Make.Shift art space.