Saturday Night: The Sword At Fitzgerald's
Aftermath wasn't even nursing a hangover after New Year's Eve, but the Sword's headlining show Saturday night melted down whatever residual toxins we were floating in and washed them away across 90 minutes at Fitzgeralds upstairs.
This show was in a sense a treat for us after getting over the NYE hump, with The Sword, Venomous Maximus, Black Congress, Eagle Claw and a few others for a decent price of admission. Coming after NYE's indie throwdown at Fitz, we all needed something a little stiff and wooly to temper the sweetness of the previous 24 hours.
Venomous Maximus and Black Congress enjoyed healthy upstairs crowds, with BC doing a handful of newer songs and VM coming up behind with a set that seemed to firmly implant their status in the scene. Since their debut show back in the early summer, the band has been evolving every so surely into one of our favorite sludgy metal bands in town. Lead singer Gregg Higgins seems more at home behind the mike and strapped to a guitar than he did when the band opened for Dead Meadow in June.
The Sword are now old salts at the metal game, entering almost a decade of work, three albums and an appearance on Guitar Hero II, which at the height of it' popularity was more valuable than a video on MTV.
The Austin boogie-metal band went through a lineup change back in October, with drummer Trivett Wingo exiting the group due to mental exhaustion. Wingo's replacement, Kevin Fender from Employer, Employee, has installed himself nicely in the fold.
The band's newest album, Warp Riders, was a big part of Saturday's set, although work from debut Age of Winters still made up most of the set list. The Riders material is different from the band's other two albums in two ways: JD Cronise's vocals are more defined this time around, and the lyrical content isn't so steeped in myth.