KadavarRebels Honky Tonk, Friday, March 15
With the continuing swath cut through the rock underground by Me Decade-style hard rock bands, it was inevitable that the nebulously defined late-Sixties/early-Seventies garage grunge known as proto-metal would also undergo a revival. Swedish psych blues demons Graveyard rule that particular roost, but if this South by Southwest coming out is any indication, the impressively hirsute Kadavar deserves the same devotional bong hits. The Berlin trio's bluesy brawn extends a hand more than it raises a fist, its fuzz-kissed riffs and lysergic libretto inviting the crowd into its misty world instead of pummeling it into the wooden dance floor. "Black Sun," "Goddess of Dawn," and the epic "Purple Sage" cut through the same acid fog they created, their presence beside a mechanical bull no stranger than the desperate cry of "I want to live inside your head!" While Lupus Lindemann's roiling six-stringing and spaced-out howl frontload the tunes with surprising soul, drummer Tiger proves to be the band's secret weapon, his driving yet sophisticated kit work giving Kadavar as much grace as power. Less aggressive than self-confident, Kadavar boasts a swing that comes with a deep understanding of the ways rhythm drives the best rock & roll.