Crowbar finds No Cure for Kaonashi, sets Orthodox Boundaries!

Live Review

Boundaries - Photo by Brent Michael
Orthodox

 

By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Senior Correspondent

Venue: Crowbar, Ybor City/Tampa, Florida–May 31st, 2024

Band Websites: No Cure, Kaonashi, Orthodox, Boundaries

Band Facebook: No Cure, Kaonashi, Orthodox, Boundaries

I came with the usual expectations: A local band or two, followed by a band or two of more national reknown. Crowbar usually draws a decent crowd, especially on a Friday night, so I was looking forward to a lively crowd. But, of course, this is Ybor City, where expectations can expect to be broken, if not shattered.

No Cure

So the first band hits the stage, and I see this guy. Yes, Ybor City is a suburb/section/adjunct of Tampa, Florida, and this was the end of May, and we hadn’t had a polar inversion where it was suddenly winter! It was in the nineties during the day, with it dropping to maybe mid-70s at night, hotter inside than outside, and this guy is wearing an L.L. Bean puffy hoody with the hood pulled up and Elton John-style sunglasses, and I’m wondering which episode of the Twilight Zone did I step into? The week was already one for the record books, with an historic first: A rich white guy who somehow bamboozled his way into a White House residency had actually been convicted for his crimes! Then this?

But I guess it’s all part of No Cure‘s claim to being “WORLD’S MOST EVIL STRAIGHT EDGE BAND YET!” They originated in Birmingham, Alabama, in 2021, and have been rising quickly. Vocalist Blaythe Steuer, aka Mr. L.L. Bean (not to be confused with Rowan Atkinson, though I’m pretty sure these guys would love a Black Adder as a pet!) straddles the line between growler and screamer, lead guitarists Aesop Mongo and Duncan Newey slice up the notes with bloody passion, with bassist Jake Murnane and drummer Duncan Newey holding the line while the mayhem ensues!

Kaonashi

Next up we saw Kaonashi, another traveling band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with a very unique sound! A rarity in metal circles, lead singer Peter Rono defies the stereotype for the role: he’s big, black, not svelte, and seems to have more fun than the angry screamer scowling at the crowd usually does. Of course, they aren’t just a metal band, they are described as “chaotic post-hardcore” with more falsetto than screaming vocals and a vaguely Primus-like feel to their musical rhythms. Drummer Ryan “Pao” Paolilli lays down the backbeat on songs that touch on mental health, gender, sexuality, race, and other social and political issues – but they are adamantly not a political band. Ryne Jones bops the bass, Alex Hallquist and Sidney Williams add guitar and some vocals, but Pao and Peter bring most of the lyrical and concept-album content to the group, since they started in 2012.

Orthodox

With the crowd and the house warmed up, Orthodox took over the stage. Clawing their way across the country from the home of country music, Nashville, Tennessee, there was maybe a little twang in the background, but I really couldn’t hear it. Formed in 2011, the band consists of lead vocalist Adam Easterling, guitarist Austin Evans, bass guitarist Shiloh Krebs, and drummer Mike White. They were joined by a couple of guitarists, one of which is rumored to be Ben Touchberry, the sixth player as yet unidentified. Easterling is the songwriting core of the band, joined by Evans and occasional others in the process and studio. Much of their music reflects Easterling’s personal journeys. All of the bands were definitely high-energy, and the crowd responded likewise, first with a mosh pit and then crowd-surfing when it became too packed – it was a sold-out show – to leave any open space!

Boundaries
Boundaries

Finally, we hit the Boundaries of metal today! Coming from Connecticut in support of their latest album, “Death Is Little More” (click link to stream it), they’ll be touring the USA through August 3rd, then on to touring Down Under, seven concerts in Australia, then another seven in the United Kingdom, and fifteen stops in Europe! Wish I could go along! Boundaries is a five-piece metalcore band from Hartford, Connecticut composed of Matt “Mac” McDougal (lead vocals), Kevin Stevens (drums and vocals), Brandon Breedlove (bass and vocals), Zadak Brooks (guitar) and Cory Emond (guitar). Boundaries crosses the lines between hard funk and melodic metal, with  Metal Injection describing them as “masters of the groovy hardcore riff,” they are a relatively young band – earliest reference I could find was 2018 – but they are fast making their mark! Boundaries’ music explores themes of personal struggle, societal unrest, and existential reflection against the backdrop of music that Revolver described as “steeped in that pivotal era of metalcore greatness…It’s a fascinating meld of crushing sounds,” and New Noise added: “we definitely have a new standard-bearer here… rarely does a metalcore record have a vibrancy and violence that is wonderfully contrasted with such gothic melody.” Here’s the setlist and streams for every song played in Tampa, catch them while you can in the USA, or what better reason for a trip to Australia, the UK, or Europe?

 

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