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This Little Underground: The mighty return of Floor

Live reviews of Drive-By Truckers, Water Liars, Stagnant Pools

Photo: Photo by Christopher Garcia, License: N/A

Photo by Christopher Garcia


If you experienced their incendiary 2012 reunion show at Will’s Pub, then you have an idea of how reconstituted underground metal legends Floor lit it up again (June 2, Backbooth). As both their head-shaving live show and bomb-ass new album Oblation attest, few bands are as dialed in to their sweet spot as these Miami titans. The high-flying, melody-minded template for their quicksilver doom is a model of simplicity and power. With no trifling doodles or heroics, their musical architecture exists for a single-minded goal: to command the gaping electricity of their guitar tone, a thing of rare sonic perfection. There are few more exhilarating sounds in rock today. And the result is maximum effect with minimum arrangement.

For heavy music in general and Florida music in particular, Floor is a great comeback story. If there’s any band that deserves their victory lap and a chance at major-league bat, it’s these guys. The seeds of their groundbreaking work are only now being fully recognized as formative in blazing the big, bright frontier of modern heavy metal.

Trick scene: Photos from Floor at Backbooth

If there are any stubborn traces of cynicism out there, Floor’s new album should effectively snuff them. As the excellent new work proves, this is not some past-prime band on a cheap cash-grab, contrary even to everything frontman Steve Brooks told OW contributor Jason Ferguson in his feature story on their “temporary” 2010 reunion (see “Personal influence,” March 31, 2010). No, this is a vital, wildly prescient band that’s not only worthy of overdue credit but clearly has some serious untapped reserves in the tank. While Torche embellished this signature sound to game-changing results, the Floor blueprint is such an astonishingly distilled and focused ideal that it deserves its own sovereign glory. So I say, bring it on.

The Beat

After many years of giving a Saharan amount of attention to our city, it is truly a great thing that alternative Southern rock kings the Drive-By Truckers are making Orlando a regular destination. For a while there, I was convinced that their much-too-brief set at Orlando Calling (remember that thing?) was going to be the first and last time I would see them here. But just like that overblown half-step of a music festival, the thought proved to be a mirage.

Let there be rock: Photos of Drive-By Truckers at the Beacham

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