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This Little Underground

Bao Le-Huu takes on Localcopia, Christopher Paul Stelling, Mastodon and the Wholetones

Photo: Bao Le-Huu, License: N/A

Bao Le-Huu

Mastodon returned to town (Dec. 1, House of Blues) fresh off the announcement of a Grammy nom (Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance). First, I am not a fan of the new record. Second, it’s been lifetimes since there was any reason to give a shit about the Grammys. Still, Mastodon kicks major-league ass live. And whatever prayers I have that their new album is but a momentary lapse, they’ve done a heroic job of changing the face of metal from the ground up through good work. But with so many ravenous sprouts shooting up through their once-native underground, now’s not the time to take your eye off the ball if you want to maintain the crown. Besides killer Portland bill-mates Red Fang,they need look no further than their own Georgian soil (e.g., Kylesa, Baroness and Black Tusk, who’ll be playing Back Booth Dec. 15) to realize they’re surrounded by bloodthirsty wolves whose claws and fangs are growing longer and sharper by the minute.

No one in human history has ever thought they’d leave a Mastodon show to find even better technique in a folk band. But that’s exactly what happened when I got back downtown and encountered South Florida’s the Wholetones (Will’s Pub). When’s the last time you saw a folkie do fretboard finger taps? Yeah. It’s a little neo-classical dazzle and a whole lotta acoustic ass-kickery.

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