Tuesday, January 23, 2018
The Bowery Presents South: Sleep + Thou at Civic Theatre
Tickets are on-sale NOW at civicnola.com
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The words have failed them all. Since by the time you've read this far you've already read words that are intended to be touchstones but which do nothing but make it easier to not hear what should be all about hearing: their music.
So let's dispense with "stoner" and "doom" and while "metal" is a good catch-all even that does what SLEEP does an injustice. What SLEEP does and has been doing since 1990. Since San Jose. Since vocalist and bassist Al Cisneros hinted darkly at his next act after Asbestosdeath. Make something that was like something you had never heard/felt before even if you had heard/felt it before. Like wind or the yawning subsonic expanse of an earthquake: something undeniably large.
And like ragas, the songs were not just songs but movements and the movements trended toward the eternal. Almost time-wise too with songs that lasted as long as some entire records, which is as long as it needs to be to get short-sighted labels to drop you. And beyond time, the weight was equally significant. Heavy, sublime and not even a little bit ridiculous and whether or not these were influenced by the sacramental consumption of weed really misses the point.
While there may have been a few like them before them, there were none like them really and certainly none of after them. And so in 2009 when they were reborn with Cisneros who'd been reframing the world with the band OM, Matt Pike doing double duty with this and his HIGH ON FIRE, and the estimable Jason Roeder doing the same with NEUROSIS, SLEEP did what it had done and what it had left to do. Largely and without pause, make music in tune with The Ages.
Best to be enjoyed? Live and living. See, hear, feel, do it. Well, beyond just music and well into the experiential joy of pure being. SLEEP. Undoubtedly.
THOU (Baton Rouge)
Thou is an American sludge metal band formed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2005. The current line-up of the band consists of Bryan Funck (vocals), Andy Gibbs (guitar), Matthew Thudium (guitar), KC Stafford (bass), and Tyler Coburn (drums).
The band was formed by guitarists Andy Gibbs and Matthew Thudium, bassist Mitch Wells, and drummer Terry Gulino. Thou released their first full-length effort, Tyrant, in 2007 after the arrival of the vocalist Bryan Funck. These were followed by their second studio album Peasant in 2008 and a string of EPs, including Malfeasance Retribution EP (2008), The Retaliation of the Immutable Force of Nature (2008), Through the Empires of the Eternal Void (2009) and Baton Rouge/You Have Much to Answer For (2010). Their third full-length album, Summit was released in 2010.
The band's fourth studio album, Heathen, released in 2014, was met with critical acclaim. This album marked the first time in the band's career that the band had featured cleanly sung vocals from collaborator Emily McWilliams. The album was named the best metal album of 2014 by music website Pitchfork. Thou has toured with and collaborated frequently with fellow sludge metal band The Body, whom they most recently collaborated with on the album entitled, You, Whom I Have Always Hated.
Thou's style has been labeled as "experimental doom", stoner metal and sludge metal. On the band's style, Allmusic critic Gregory Heaney stated that "the band's sound blends the shuddering heaviness of doom with the oppressive atmospherics of black metal, giving the band a monolithic sound that feels, at times, inescapable."
Thou has taken a DIY approach to touring which has become a defining characteristic of the band and its aesthetic. Thou's lyrics often espouse Anarchist views. Thou also has covered artists from various rock music genres, including Nine Inch Nails' "Terrible Lie" (with The Body) and Nirvana songs "Something in the Way", "Sifting", and "Aneurysm".