Lagartha with Kate Wakefield

Wednesday • MOTR Pub

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A quick Google search of Lagartha will reveal a wealth of information about the Viking shield-maiden Lagertha. That’s because Google, in its benevolent artificial wisdom, assumes endlessly flawed humans are too witless to work a computer keyboard and would mindlessly transpose an “a” for an “e.” They are nearly neighbors, after all.

The problem is that a fair majority of us can manage to eke out a correct spelling on the old qwerty pad, know exactly what we’re looking for and couldn’t give a flaming bag of crap on a Halloween porch what Google thinks we hope to find at the end of our search rainbow. And what we want, sweet, cotton-headed Google, is information about the Doom Drone magnificence of Lagartha.

To date, the Chicago trio has recorded/released but a single epic track — the morose and visceral 11-minute plodsterpiece “Rats for Anne,” available for free at the band’s Bandcamp site (contributions are cheerfully accepted, of course) — but it bodes well for the newly formed group.

Comprised of guitarist J.R. Robinson from Folk Doom aggregation Wrekmeister Harmonies, exquisite drummer Janet Bean from the intermittently active Freakwater and Eleventh Dream Day camps, and beautiful wild card violinist Esther Wah Shaw, who’s also done time with Wrekmeister Harmonies, Lagartha does Doom with a quiet fury and a roiling undercurrent that is deceptively Ambient and menacingly insistent. A potent and compelling combination of Robinson’s hush-to-howl guitar ministrations, Shaw’s evocatively keening John-Cale-on-speed-and-cough-syrup violin and Bean’s rain dance percussion, “Rats for Anne” is a hair-raising introduction to Lagartha’s gentle brand of melodic Drone.

Vocally, Robinson offers a Nick Cave/Marilyn Manson fever growl (listen to the verse, “In the madhouse I lay, in the coral cave of drugs,” and try not to shiver, we dare you), while Bean’s counterpoint suggests Exene Cervenka and Cincinnati’s own Lisa Walker of Wussy vying for attention as they attempt to contact Lou Reed on a Ouija board episode of The Voice.

It’s primal and soothing and incendiary and unnerving, and our Lagartha will kick your Lagertha’s Norwegian ass. Take that, Google.


LAGARTHA plays at MOTR Pub Wednesday, Dec. 17. Find tickets/more info here.

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