Borracho - 5 bands? The real review will be of my back at the end of the night and tomorrow morning. But if the middle batch is as good as the bookends, it will be worth it. We start with a Power with a capital P trio that has always done a great job around town. They have such a tough sound, but don't let it overshadow their fine songs that could probably work in more than a few offshoot genres, as long as it still rocks. I had not been to the Pinch in a while and the sound seemed to be a bit better tonight with better equipment. The vocals are still a bit buried, but the clarity of the instrumentation is solid. Their drummer is off for South America soon and is the second DC area musician to head to that continent that I know of. Hope he has a blast and hope the remaining duo continue to offer great music to this area. This was a fine final set for me that I really enjoyed.
Matter of Planets - From Columbus, Ohio, a former home town of mine and also home of Lo-Pan, a really fine band I have seen on this very stage, comes this powerful quartet. They can easily work on any metal stage with Lo-Pan or all of the bands tonight, but they quickly set course for the stars. They have two guitars soaring, but keep it tough along the way. They create some nice shifts in course to keep the journey interesting, which is important as this is a fully instrumental set. Good solos and rhythmic shifts kept things interesting as well. Ultimately, this band proved to have a different sound from the rest, but still connected well with the others as they could match the strength of the metal offered up tonight.
Horseburner - I am not sure what a horseburner is, but I also don't think I want to know. But for the band behind the name, we have a West Virginia quartet that knows how to kick up some serious sludge metal. They have enough shifts in tone and pace to not stay too much in drone trappings. In fact, they added more than one double lead moment, as well as some post Metallica metal offerings. This may be a bit too much genre (or sub genre perhaps) jumping for some, but bring it on. It works ok for me and did for the modest crowd out on this hot night.
The Ravenna Arsenal - I learned from the hard working photographer behind Roxplosion that one of this Ohio band's guitarists is a luthier who has built the guitars they were using tonight and has a very small line of guitars he has crafted. While not an expert in gear, I can safely say they delivered the crunch, power, and tone that a fine metal band requires. They often had some grungy gooey slow parts in their overall sound, but there were some fascinating high tones fighting to come through the muck that offered a ghostly melody to the mix. This is another strangely likable band in what is turning out to be a successful evening with nary a note out of place.
Caustic Casanova - I just saw this trio, long one of my favorites, less than two months ago, so nothing changed too much from that review. A bit of tinkering with the set list as we began with the opening riffs courtesy of Mr. Nugent (he won't notice, he's busy this week) that work into one of their newer metallic crunching songs with the usual artistry within (something Ted could not touch with a ten foot bow). They keep the sonics coming with all the creative flourish that you come to expect and the crowd is enjoying it all. They unify all the elements previously heard tonight and add a few spices of their own to what is now a long but fulfilling night. Another cut reminded me of Budgie jamming with Led Zeppelin until some how a Rush song emerged. There is plenty of psychedelic intensity as well, as this trio knows how to play with all forms of metal and beyond to concoct something unique. And they continue to work hard and tour frequently. And next week they are off for TEN WEEKS. So if they come your way, do check them out. You will not be sorry.
Cartoon Grab of the Night: I dedicate this On the Fastrack cartoon to Mugger, Gibby Haynes, and Duff McKagan, and accountants everywhere.