Tonight at Rudyard's, we'll be a part of the lusty and bearded throng throwing themselves in front of Valient Thorr and Early Man, with local cats the Hell City Kings and Golden Axe acting as support. Those two Houston bands alone would be enough rock and roll for one night, but alas, the gods are smiling upon us tonight while they flip both middle fingers at our long-term hearing ability.
Chapel Hill, N.C.'s Valient Thorr is simply one of the best live acts going today, and as of a few months ago featured Houston's own Warren Hatfield on guitar. Since leaving the band, he has resurrected Golden Axe is his main musical gig. Thorr live is a beardy and wooly mash of lead singer Valient Himself's MC5-ish vocal stylings and enough manic, clean riffing to light a small town.
Thorr can also count Lemmy Kilmister as a fan. During their quick set opening for Heaven & Hell and Judas Priest at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion last year, Motorhead brought out Himself to sing on "Killed By Death." If you have been paying attention to Rocks Off, you can see how tonight's show is aural catnip for us.
Along the way, Valient Thorr has amassed a cult following of Thorriors, a denim-jacket-clad gang of fanatics with chapters in most every major city akin to the Turbojugends that Norwegian death-punk group Turbonegro has helped foster pretty much all over the world. Thorriors' ages skew a bit younger, and at one show last year at Rudyard's
a whole group of sullen underagers found themselves shut out of the fun upstairs.
A helpful page on the band's site
offers a tutorial on becoming a Thorrior, complete with a download of their logo to put paint onto jean jackets and whatnot. You can find an entire page of Thorriors at play wearing their signature gear on Flickr
9 p.m. tonight at Rudyard's, 2010 Waugh, 713-521-0521 or www.rudyards.com.