The Acacia Strain and David Ornette Cherry

More concert previews of note

Oct 1, 2008 at 2:06 pm

The Acacia Strain with Unearth, Protest the Hero, Gwen Stacy and White Chapel
Saturday • Bogart’s

Springfield, Mass., might not be the acknowledged capital of grinding Metal, but that hasn’t stopped The Acacia Strain from perfecting the art of down-tuned guitar and demon-balls-in-a-bear-trap vocals. With their fourth full-length, the recently released Continent, The Acacia Strain hone their blistering sound to a prison-filed point, amplifying and extrapolating their sonic brutality and lyrical nihilism with technical precision and heightened emotional disgust.

Against all odds, The Acacia Strain has made a darker and even more brutal work than their last album, 2006’s The Dead Walk. Vocalist Vincent Bennett has officially espoused a misanthropic hate of everything and that viewpoint runs like a river of shit through Continent’s lyrics. From “Baby Buster”: “I don’t sing fucking love songs because there’s nothing in this world for me to love/I want the world to have my rape baby so when it’s born I can strangle it to death.” As Bennett growls out his boiling discontent with the modern world and everything in it, his bandmates (guitarist DL, bassist Jack Strong and drummer Kevin Boutot) provide a suitable bed of pesticidal roses for the lyrics, filled with visceral molten guitar runs, pummeling bass lines and double clutched drumming that gives the odd sensation of actually altering the listener’s regular heartbeat.

The only break from The Acacia Strain’s relentless attack comes at the close of Continent, when Bennett takes a break from vilifying the world and its obvious ills and the band delicately stretches out on “The Behemoth”: the thoughtful yet still powerful instrumental that ends the album.

If you have an affinity for extreme Metal in all its mutant forms (Hardcore, Death Metal, Grindcore), check your hope at the door and join The Acacia Strain as they pull hard on the world’s toilet handle in an effort to flush civilization into hell’s septic tank.

(Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.) 

David Ornette Cherry
Saturday • Blue Wisp Jazz Club

If anyone ever sets up a study to attempt to divine whether musical talent is based on either nature or nurture, David Ornette Cherry would be a terrible study subject. The son of Jazz icon Don Cherry, David Ornette Cherry was genetically predisposed to be a musician of some kind, and his father’s circle of friends (David’s namesake Ornette Coleman, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Haden, among countless other Jazz legends) ensured that his environmental upbringing would similarly steer him down a musical path. Cherry’s choice of piano was most definitely made due to external circumstances; at age 16, he swung and missed the firewood he was chopping at his family’s home in Sweden and gashed his foot with an ax. The room where he made his long recovery happened to be furnished with a piano and the boy who was born the same year that his father and Ornette Coleman recorded Somethin’ Else, their stellar debut together, found that his future was secured.

Under his father’s tutelage, Cherry became a first rate pianist, but because of his natural talent and his exposure to some of the most brilliant and intuitive Jazz players of the modern era, he ultimately became one of the genre’s most gifted improvisers. And one of the skills that makes Cherry’s improvisation so impressive is his incredible ability to listen to his players. One famous story recounts how Cherry was so swept up in the heated groove his ensemble was laying down a few years back, he relaxed on his bench and was so enraptured by his bandmates that he momentarily forgot to play along with them. While the combination of Cherry’s DNA and environment place his work well outside of the Jazz mainstream, those same factors make his work both challenging and exhilarating, qualities that are exponentially increased by his almost subconscious spontaneity.

(Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.)