Last Night: Jucifer, Vaste Burai, One Wolf and STEW! at Rubber Gloves

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Jucifer, Vaste Burai, One Wolf, STEW!
Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, Denton
February 22, 2010

Better Than: Turning on the TV only to realize they're not airing Big Bang Theory this week.

Seventeen years on, husband-wife pair Amber Valentine and Edgar Livengood show no sign of letting up, and Monday night saw the sludge metal pair known as Jucifer take the stage of Rubber Gloves.

And though the the night drew an intimate crowd last night, thanks to Jucifer and the other acts on the bill, the audience experienced a manifest of rock and sludge metal acts.

Each act, it seemed, was louder and more foreboding than the one before it--and, without a doubt, ears were ringing by the time Jucifer mercifully left the stage.

The night was both overcoming and energizing.

When their set came to pass, the headliners sneaked on to the stage behind thick smoke. A vivid light display and murky nebula accompanied the rumbling, spellbinding, down-tuned guitar noise that followed. Vocalist and guitarist Valentine thrashed around while defiling the ax and amply screeching into her mic.

Unfortunately, the few moments that Valentine sung in clean vocals were soft but unpleasant. It was kind of like petting a tarantula. Meanwhile, drummer Edgar Livengood's face was sweating and contorting in agony as he alternated between one-off strikes and rapid bursts. Livengood occasionally bashed the toms with his fist, let out screeches and struck the cymbals out of place.

But, even despite the miscues, the wall of sound provided by Jucifer and its support acts made for a hypnotic--if almost nauseating--display. A good thing, to be sure.

Dallas band STEW! started the night with a Zeppelin-influenced rock followed by the cheery jangle pop sound of Lubbock's One Wolf. Longview's Vaste Burai warmed the small audience up for Jucifer with a sludge clamor.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
I've seen a bunch of sludge bands before, so I'm quite familiar with how these shows tend to go. It was my first time seeing Jucifer, though. And thought I expected stuff of the band's new album, the headliners seemed to offer up a different set of material. No complaints here, though.

Random note: I noticed I was one of maybe two people at this show who donned hearing protection for these extreme metal acts. What the fuck is wrong with you people? Granted, I made the same mistake when I saw Sun O))), but never again.

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