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This Little Underground

Our live music columnist checks out Swans, Mono, Tombs and more

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Igniting another impressively heavy and diverse bill was the debut of new Orlando band Sowester (Oct. 20, Will's Pub). Even with the occasional spacey effect, their blend of sludge, doom and stoner metal is dark without being silly, often moving with a bluesy Sabbath creep. It's a well-paced, well-calibrated sound that effectively balances heft, dynamics and tons of growling fuzz, all without getting too fancy. And they meet the requisite quota of at least one serious wizard beard. With a debut this convincing, put 'em on your radar now.

Following was 16, an exhilaratingly nasty California band whose sludgy bare-knuckle rock teeters dangerously on the precipice of hardcore and metal. Personified in singer Cris Jerue, who seems to lurch on the brink of homicide, they bring an Unsane brand of brutality and nerve that flows like skin and bone over concrete. Bad things happen to this kind of music.

Brooklyn headliner Tombs unleashed a squall that drops like a hammer but has the drama of heavy post-rock. It's a beautiful avalanche, albeit a monotonous one.

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