Thursday, July 30, 2009

I’ve Got a Love for Harvey Milk

I'm not talking about openly gay politician who was unjustly assassinated by Dan White although I have much respect for the man. In this instance, I'm referring to stoner metal mainstays Harvey Milk who seized the opportunity to destroy my eardrums on July 25, 2009 at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA. The band is touring on their album Life… The Best Game in Town, which was one of the best albums of albums of 2008 and I'm not the only one who thinks so. They have been active since the early 90s and have helped shape the current state of stoner metal yet they still remain relatively unknown and underappreciated except by their most passionate fans.

Harvey Milk proved that they are seasoned veterans who are capable of delivering a monolithic performance. The trio fronted by singer/guitarist Creston Spiers started the set with crushing and sludgy tunes. This marked the beginning of an almost two hour set that had some of the best pacing I've ever seen at a stoner metal show. They began with the lumbering, slower tracks and worked themselves into a frenzy as the show went on, sprinkling in bluesy riff-driven rock such as "Shame" and manic bruisers in the set at all the right times. Trick endings and seemingly impossible signature changes during segues made sure that they kept your attention the entire time.

Catchy songs such as "Motown" gave a nice break from the crunch of tunes like "I've Got a Love". Frontman Creston Spiers talked in between songs at all the right times often to interject a hilarious antidote. The band kept taking shots during the set yet somehow managed to remain a completely tight unit. The drummer maintained some extraordinary beats underneath the growling basslines. At the end of the show, they took requests and asked if the audience would rather heard "Death Goes to the Winner" or "Goodbye Blues" of which an epic version of the latter was given to eager ears. Needless to say the band played LOUD and my ears were ringing the entire next day but it was definitely worth it. Check out Life… the Best Game in Town for yourself below.


The openers were Torche and Cable, two bands I absolutely love. It's no secret that Torche's Meanderthal was one of my favorite metal albums in recent memory and in my top 10 of 2008. However, I missed both of their sets due to an enjoyable all day barbequing event that included delicious smoked ribs. I can't say I was too disappointed since I saw Torche a few times before but they do put on an incredible live show. I really would have liked to see Cable since I have been spinning the reissue of their 1996 classic Variable Speed Drive in anticipation of their upcoming release The Failed Convict to be released August 18 on The End Records. Grab Variable Speed Drive for yourself below and pick up The Failed Convict when it comes to stores on August 18th. I am also posting the recently released Torche video for their track "Healer".


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