My faithful readers, you have heard me tell you time and time again of the beauties of what music can do to you. It can bring you overwhelming happiness, plunge you into the pit of sadness, provide you with a hard on the size of a bratwurst, or make you check under your bed at night to see if the boogie man is there to sodomize you once sleep overcomes you. After this past Wednesday, the 9th of December, Vincent Bennett is that boogie man to me. Take a seat around the campfire and imagine me with a flashlight in front of my face, because The Acacia Strain’s performance at Foufounes Electriques was the kinda shit nightmares are made of.
The night started off by creating a new record for Bucketlist reviews for the same mother fucking band, Montreal’s favourite pretty boy metalcore marauders, Red Skies. They came, saw, and emasculated everyone in the room (a.k.a conquered). Now slinging a whole new array of songs, it’s possible to miss certain classics like “Jean Guy” or “Ignition.” But with slayers like “New Voice” and “Concept Citizen” filling the void, you tend to remind yourself to stop being such a bitch (which I’m certain I’ll be told by the time you read this). If I haven’t made it clear enough for you shit heads to listen to this band, then I’ma just keep telling you till you fucking do it. LISTEN TO THIS FUCKING BAND GODDAMNIT. P.S Notice the lack of defecation comments, NOTICE IT!
New Jersey’s deathcore export Fit For an Autopsy were next up in the saddle. First of what was left of the tour package (after both GlassCloud and Kublai Khan sadly dropped off the bill), FFAA broke out of the gate like a bull going completely Arnie ‘roid-rage. The beautiful thing about any deathcore band is that opening impact of heaviness that typically makes your bowels loosen. What comes from there is what defines the band in its entirety, and THAT, boys and girls, is where FFAA did not disappoint. Brutality comes in one true form that these dudes most definitely channeled. No, I won’t say that this is the best of any deathcore act I’ve ever seen, purely since it was relatively cookie-cutter at times in terms of originality. But if scaring the shit out of you was the point, and brute force was the hammer driving said point, then point fucking made. That, and I’m relatively certain guitarist Tim Howley’s lengthy beard is used to hang small animals and children when they’ve misbehaved to the point of deserving a medieval death sentence.
What does Hamilton, ON, hardcore plus horrible morose make? That’s right, Counterparts. Anybody who’s given Counterparts a listen, and knows the rest of the show card, probably thinks that these kids stick out like a sad sore thumb. You would technically be correct, but go ahead and ask anybody who was screaming their guts out to every word and climbing on each other’s heads for a chance at Brendan’s microphone if they fucking care. Much like our opening band, I’ve already spoken my piece about these Hamilton home boys a few times now. Regardless, Counterparts never cease to amaze me in the sense that every set, whether the same songs or not, always feels different in some way. Tonight was no different; thumps were high, the angst was turned to 11, and the clean channel beat your face down like a baby with a teddy bear filled with nails. If you haven’t given Tragedy Will Find Us a listen yet, then you’re fucking up, perpetually, until you listen to it.
The lights dim (not really), the candles are lit (like, seriously, not really), a pentagram appears on the ground (I’m really making this shit up) and Satan spouts from the floor and starts straight up prison-fucking the entire crowd. Yeah, that didn’t happen either, but Western CT’s most violent act of musicianship, The Acacia Strain most definitely made you feel like something phallic was in the air awaiting your soul. Never have a couple of straight-edge dudes chugged so hard that I was actually concerned for my own liver. Whether or not everyone else in the band is straight-edge, I don’t know, so we’re going to leave that where it is. BUT, frontman Vincent Bennett most definitely is, and if there is a boogie man who looks like he wants to slaughter your family while drooling uncontrollably to an audio track being played over the P.A, it’s this man. As “Human Disaster” broke out, the floor shook – and so did your hope for all existence. As “JFC” rang forth, your cock became hard and you wondered if you would ever be the same again. As you keep reading this review, you wonder why I’m not in therapy. The answer is, I don’t fucking know. BUT I WILL SAY THIS: this night was special in the sense that it was the first time I listened to Vinnie boy actually say something painfully inspiring: words of love, words of confidence, words of encouraged suicide amongst extremist, and all things we needed to hear. So for that, I thank you Vincent. Now please stop trying to eat my family, I need them. Mostly.
Written by Jason Greenberg
Photographed by Melissa Martella
*edited by Kate Erickson