Slabdragger + Mountain Caller + Urne
@ 229 The Venue
06 March 2020
Photos / review by Ryan Whitwell / Shotison
229, The Venue, isn’t somewhere I have been often but recently they have had some really good acts on their two stages. Tonight’s gig would be on the smaller stage, which would seem to be a benefit tonight as the heavy basslines that would be pumped out direct from the amps would have nowhere else to go but straight into our faces!
Urne were first up and it was the first time I’d heard their stuff, so I didn’t really know what to expect.
In short, I loved it. Their sound is energetic and mostly aggressive in tone, it was a great start to the night to get the blood pumping. I also liked their shout out to the other support band, Mountain Caller, before blasting one of their more gentle numbers. It was a nice break from the aggression of the previous section of the setlist and it juxtaposed well before they flew straight into the heavy stuff again for the penultimate song.
The final number had a bit of a mix of tempos and rhythms, showing off a bit of a proggy feel. I’ll certainly be checking them out as I, and seemingly the others in attendance, were really impressed!
Mountain Caller were the second of the three bands with their really cool mix of tones and emotions. Full disclosure, I’m a big fan of them and have been for at least a year after I saw them competing in London’s “Bloodstock: Metal to the Masses” competition in which they made it to the final round.
Fun horse fact, 2 horses working together can pull as much as 4 individual horses. They may not have an album out yet, but at least we have horse-based science facts to share with our friends! Hopefully, it won’t be too much longer until a physical release comes into your ears.
The set was great, with plenty of shifting tones, including some drifty spaced out vibes for penultimate number. If I knew the title, I’d tell you, but it does have a big finish with a lot of drum fills that got a great crowd response. So, hopefully that one will make it onto the album!
The final number had a bit more muscle and fuzz to it, which was a good way to cap things off and get some heads nodding before Slabdragger.
I’ve never seen them live before, but if it’s big, heavy, sludgy and loud, I’ll probably like it. Fortunately, Slabdragger are all of those things, dirty as you like with big heavy chunks of filth to damage some neck muscles to (our crowd surf to, I guess?)
No, I don’t know what the song titles were, and no, I don’t think it really matters. When you play a set with the energy and riffs at such a big level it doesn’t really matter what the names are!
A quick pause at one point due to an unnamed technical issue, but if anything that was a nice break between onslaughts of ear crushing noise. The entire set was a barrage of thick riffs and chunky basslines which got most of the room moving.
After a full-on set, I was a weird mix of tired and pumped. The amount of rib rattling bass twinned with the aggressive tones of the songs and the up for it crowd made for a great show.