Their show starts by throwing a little ‘Starship’ intro into their act (who doesn’t like a bit of cheese now and again?), a little bit of flamboyance before their opening number, and SLUTS (?!) erupt to a small number of punters on this summer evening in Dublin’s Voodoo Lounge.
Frontman Mike Van D has a few different vocal strings to his bow, like Vince Neil, Gene Simmons and a bit of Andy Biersack. Horror punk is a big thing in the USA; not so much here in Ireland. But once the first few bars of their 2nd song and the crowd is really starting to pull in. Lead guitarist T flips the mental switch to “on” and both he and co-axer Duke supply a novel surplus of catchy punk-glam rock riffs.
There is a slight drum mishap when Judas Bent has to hop out from behind the kit to change something from his gear bag for the bass drum. But all ends well and he supplies the beats for a smashing setlist. This band I think began as a bit of an experiment back in 2014, but I’m happy to say that said experiment was a success. SLUTS are young, charged, and they have the charisma and talent to make it big. They’re relaxed, they’re into their craft, and they like it. The crunchy flair and essence of not taking themselves too seriously is a huge boost to their reputation. The heaviness of their tone is undeniable, and they have a bright future. This was an excellent show of force from a band still in its infancy. More power to ‘em! 3.5/5
If you were to walk into the venue as Wednesday 13 began their fist-pumping setlist, the first thing you notice is that you can’t see anything! The fog machine is working overtime (but I’ll come back to that later). The darkness engulfs the stage, and over a cacophonous melee of orchestral doom-laden classical music, Wednesday 13 et al materialise seemingly out of nowhere (seriously: you blink for a second and there they are!). They adopt a menacing stance one and all, and the music starts, plunging the members of the audience into a fiery pit of anguish and melancholy, with a hefty dose of blitzing riffage to boot.
W13 (vocalist), has a real Rob Zombie/Dani Filth thing going on in both appearance and behavior. His bandmate Roman Surman (lead guitarist), conducts his instrument to make it sound like a keyboard using only the most minor of effects. The light show and the smoke effects are key players here throughout the entire show. They add to the eerie atmosphere surrounding the music and the heads and bodies bounce in unison. Wednesday 13 may very well be the one to take the horror-master title. Strobe lighting and a superior double bass line rivet through Voodoo Lounge tonight to the enthusiastic punters who lap up every drop of it.
Some of W13’s theatrics belong in a John Carpenter movie. The tunes are so headbangingly heavy, it hurts, and the floor is shaking. W13 put out a new tune from the new record called ‘Cadaverous’. Next is “Get Your Grave On’, and the backing tracks amplify the mood; there’s not a still body in the venue. W13 appears from behind the rig between songs wearing alternative gimmicks, like appearing adorned in a black cloak and Baphomet mask for ‘Serpent Society’, followed by creepily vacant masks on both front and back of his head for ‘The Ghost of Vincent Price’.
With the poor visibility, you’d be forgiven for thinking he was contorting himself into unnatural shapes. The pit action gets messy during ‘I Want You Dead’, and I can see beers flying, as the aggression is insurmountable, only 5 feet from me. Cinema legend Max von Sydow’s voice (in his cult role as Ming the Merciless in the 1980s cult classic Flash Gordon), echoes over the PA right before ‘Hail Ming’. This is a pretty heavy song, and it is impossible not to headbang to this, if not the vast majority, of his songs. I didn’t know much about him going into the gig, but they have found a new fan, I love the sheer brutality and effervescence of his (and the band’s), songwriting ability; the guise of theatrics coupled with special effects is dishevelled, because, at grassroots level, 13 knows how to break necks.
W13’s showmanship is without question. He is heavily invested in his stage presence and his stage persona, and always has been, including during his time with Slipknot ex-drummer Joey Jordison in fellow horror-mongers from LA ‘Murderdolls’. As we press on, the band’s silhouettes are scorched into our vision against the thick smoke and the flash-lighting and special strobes emitted from the stage.
Props to the lighting guy backstage!! W13 appears again looking like a demonic Willy Wonka in a top hat, long black overcoat and wraparound shades in ‘Condolences’, the title track from the new record ‘Condolences”, only released a few weeks ago.
Again and again, W13 disappears to dress in something obscure and horrific, but for his encore, being dressed in a blood-stained welders apron adorned with human teeth (pulled from the root, no less), has to be one of the grislier themes tonight. Eventually the screaming stops as the event finishes – but when the lights go up you’re partially blinded! This was a spectacular event and one that caught me totally by surprise. I hit the merch stand afterward. I state again that this was a fun gig and one of the heavier gigs that I’ve been to this far. Definitely, one more to add to the pile of favorite bands! 4/5
What the Night Brings
Scream Baby Scream
Keep Watching the Skies
Get Your Grave On
Ghost of Vincent Price
I want You Dead
Cruel To You
I love to Say Fuck
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