Monday, December 17, 2012

Concert Review: Floridian Winter, Church Whip, and more.

Last Friday, I was fortunate enough to attend a concert with a stellar lineup at Cafe Hey in Tampa, Florida. The lineup was diverse and punishing, and the crowd turned out with high energy. Opener Hollow Skull started off the night with their challenging brand of hybridized grind and sludge. Their set was short and intense, setting a good precedent for the diversity and intensity of the bands to come. Up next was an aggressive grindcore assault, courtesy of Morphic Lapse, who had never performed live before this show. Morphic Lapse's members come from other Tampa heavyweights like Cellgraft and God Harvest, and the music they create here is exactly what you'd imagine. Their songs are short, but they leave wounds that last for hours. After Morphic Lapse's set was completed, Von Dagger set up to perform what they referred to as "the drunkest set [they] have ever played." As someone who had never seen Von Dagger before, I didn't notice a particular lack of presence in their music, as it seemed like it was the sort of punk rock that gained its energy from alcohol. The music was fast and sloppy in a deliberate way, very enjoyable and easily the most accessible band of the night.

Following the diverse batch of bands that opened the show was the mighty Church Whip. Church Whip are one of those bands who fall into a mystery category of aggressive music in my mind. There's a bit of everything from bluesy rock 'n roll riffs to abrasive hardcore punk to harsh black metal influences, and it's all blended together in a violent tornado. To call a Church Whip show chaotic would be an understatement. People were breaking tables, throwing full cans of beer, and practically tearing paintings off the walls. From experience and word of mouth, this was a toned down crowd response for a Church Whip set. The band played as intensely as one would imagine, and the fact that the venue wasn't decimated was a bit of a surprise

Closing out the night was the ferocious black punk of Jacksonville-based two-piece Floridian Winter. With most vocals being provided by the drummer, the band made up for lack of "frontman" dynamics with a fast and raw set that I found incredibly pleasing. The songs were aggressive, memorable, and the crowd responded appropriately, although with slightly less destruction and more focus than for Church Whip's set. All in all, the concert was fantastic, and each band provided a wonderful contrast from the others, yet all were complementary. I heard a rumor that there will only be one more concert in Floridian Winter's future before they call it a day, so keep an eye out--they're not to be missed. As they're the only band with merch that I'm aware of, check out their label, Primal Vomit Records, for ordering information.

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