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This Little Underground: New sightlines at Will’s Pub

Gasoline Heart, Mike Dunn, Darsombra, East of the Wall, Cave of Swimmers, Coldside

Photo: Photo By Ashley Belanger, License: N/A

Photo By Ashley Belanger


But the night’s marquee destination, New Jersey’s East of the Wall, was back at Lou’s. The Translation Loss Records band came with their own lighting rig, which is a level of production and budget not usual for this venue. Then again, how many bands come here packing a drum rack system and three flame-throwing guitarists? Seldom is this much hardware ever necessary. But with super-technical progressive metal that actually utilizes every tendril of this elaborate instrumental network with expertise and virtuosity, they earned the right to every piece of it.

Although Baltimore’s Darsombra is an experimental cauldron of ambient, drone, psych and noise, the only thing you could guess about them from their hilarious promotional pics is that they are possibly wood nymphs, or some hippie facsimile thereof. So – good, bad, whatever – I knew this show would probably be interesting (March 11, Will’s Pub).

But inside the comical cover, there’s actually a transporting book. Live, it’s surprisingly easy to get past all the red flags with the impressive instrumental range of metal vet Brian Daniloski (Meatjack) on guitar and eight-string bass. Their recordings would probably require narcotic assistance to appreciate, but they explicitly bill themselves as an audiovisual act. And with the visuals of filmmaker band member Ann Everton, their live show is packed with multisensory intrigue. Unlike the impressionism of their music, the widescreen visuals – pattern exercises that are eye-tickling and organic in movement – were high-def and stunning. Taken together, it was a psychedelic vision quest that had the audience gathered around seated in a circle, as if bound by some spell-casting campfire.

And, heads up, I’ll be on column break next week.

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