Even Cameras Lie CD Release The Door Saturday, January 7
Better than: Hanging out with my own dysfunctional brood over the holidays.
It was easy to spot who belonged and who didn't belong at Saturday night's Even Cameras Lie CD release show. Stashed in a back corner of The Door were the weary old folks, parents of some of the youngsters in the crowd or relatives of members of one of the seven bands that performed.
It was quite the family affair as more than 300 young people and about 20 parents gathered to witness a nice, all-local bill of metal-related noise. Since Even Cameras Lie just released its debut EP, the five-piece from Rowlett was a nice choice to headline the event. But there were six other bands to hit one of two stages before Even Cameras Lie played a note.
First up was Indirections, a five-piece fronted by the charismatic Landis Daniels. Perhaps the band took to the stage too promptly, as up to 50 people (including me) were stuck in the line outside the venue. Although the band's intensity sometimes overshadowed the songs, by the time they ended their set with "The Message," it was clear this was a band worth watching.
Since each band was limited to 30 minutes, all seven had to try and engage the audience quickly. Seeker did just that. Fronted by Tanner Allen (who looks like a young Mark Lanegan), Seeker was easily the most aggressive band of the evening. Slightly reminiscent of The Melvins, Seeker pulverized The Door's smaller second stage.
The music of six-piece Euphony was less ugly than what came previously. Dual vocalists Lucas Cote and David Escamilla exuded the kind of confidence one might expect from a national act, and after Euphony finished its impressive set, Cote could be seen hugging his parents and smiling from ear to ear.
At 9:00, it was time for The News Can Wait, a joyfully unpolished four-piece that has an old-school grunge feel a la prime era Green River. Lead shouter Chad Webster gets special kudos for his vein-popping "vocal" delivery. Along with Seeker, The News Can Wait provided the most visceral moments of the night.
Set the Sun were next and the Plano band's debut EP features some oddly titled but muscular fare such as "John Stokedton vs. The State of Gnarnia." Although their music can be a bit convoluted for its own good, the sheer angst of Nate Anderson and the rest of Set the Sun gives them definite potential for greatness.
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After the only extended delay of the evening, Ft. Worth's With Shaking Hands started up a little past 10:00. The band had to suffer through various technical difficulties, but once those issues were worked out, a dapper Tyler Dixon and the rest of this five-piece put on a nice half-hour of bristling chord changes and earsplitting vocals.
Finally, after three hours and six bands, Even Cameras Lie performed a great headlining set. Playing four out of five songs off the new EP, When Forever Finds Me, they even threw in a nice cover of Jimmy Eat World's "Sweetness." Other highlights included "I'll Be Patiently Waiting," "Façade," the cleverly titled "New Song" and closer "Parallels."
Critic's Notebook Personal bias: Look, say what you want about hairstyles and fashion sense commonly associated with emo, nu-metal or whatever the hell you want to call it. Anything that can be this loud and angry and actually bring a few families together is a good thing.
By the way: The News Can Wait was the notable exception to the evening's stylishness. Looking more like dock workers than musicians, the band's average Joe look certainly stood out.