Housecore Horror Live Shot: Friday Part 1

Heavy metal parking lot

Once again, they paved over paradise with a parking lot. A heavy metal parking lot.

ACL Fest earlier this month has endured Zilker Park roasts to rival the Sudan, so 84 degrees on the asphalt in front of Midway Field House hardly seems worth mentioning. In the same location last year during its maiden voyage, the Housecore Horror Film Festival employed the handsome indoor stage for sieges by Repulsion and Pig Destroyer. Yesterday afternoon, Friday, the outdoor stage in front of the cool, roomy club debuted by running 75 minutes late.

Jason McMaster pledges Evil United, first act on at Housecore Horror 2014 (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Gratefully, Jason McMaster remains the soul of patience, and even thus delayed shrugged it off with a shriek. More than one Dangerous Toys tee pressed against the barricade in front of the elevated stage – tribute to the teasin’, pleasin’ hair metaller – but the singer fronting Evil United wasn’t showing off his Wagnerian best (Halford/King Diamond) in service of cock rock. This Austin/San Antonio quartet spits New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

In Venom black and bullet belt, East Riverside’s onetime prince ruled the roost again for 25 minutes. Fans numbering just over the triple digit mark tried ducking the lunchtime glare, but at least the path from the lot back inside to the Midway was clearly marked and well trod. One fan alone near the side bar thrust his fist to the sun midway through the set and exhorted at the frontman.

Phil Anselmo – host extraordinaire.

Your Housecore Horror host, Phil Anselmo minutes after egging on Evil United, 10.24.14 (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Crowd tripled for Origin, a Kansas squadron dive bombing kick drum hysteria, trip wire shred, and a death/grunt/scream focal point in Jason Keyser, who left his larynx sprayed on the sound board some 50 feet away. Congenial grind quartet Cattle Decapitation bested them not by eschewing technical death metal, but in atomizing the line between blunt force and virtuosity with a progressive speed rivaling free jazz.

Chug to lunge then turn on a dime, the San Diegans demonstrated maelstrom music theory with a bolt-throwing rhythm section and Travis Ryan, whose balance of baritone gag and screech remain a marvel of vocal economy.

Origin’s Jason Keyser (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Cattle Decapitation’s Travis Ryan (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

Baking onstage, comic Brian Posehn lost out to AMC’s FearFest inside, where a rogue faction of overheated elders surrendered to The Omen despite the HHFF tent gore screening out back of main venue Emo’s at the other end of the block. Watching Richard Lethal Weapon Donner put poor, doomed Lee Remick through the paces of a devil’s spawn proved plenty graphic. Gregory Peck – hardcore.

The same could be said of Massachusetts sonic boom Unearth, whose melted cauldron of thrash, tech, grind, and NWOBHM summed itself up on the bassist’s Meshuggah shirt, as well as Salt Lake City coven Subrosa at Emo’s later. Local black metal trio Skan between them played it straight effectively, but the former’s bland slam dwindled the crowd quickly, while the monotone pluck to plunk of the latter played second fiddle to the group’s frontline.

“Three metal chicks walk into a bar” might belittle Subrosa in certain circle jerks, but its dual electric violinists – Sarah Pendleton and Kim Pack – saw hair-raising enough to make Bob Wills blush and when combined with front spellcaster Rebecca Vernon, they could be the Pagan L7 if only their dynamics didn’t sublimate the material.

Subrosa stare, Rebecca Vernon (Photo by Gary Miller)

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Jason McMaster, Dangerous Toys, Evil United, Phil Anselmo, Origin, Jason Keyser, Cattle Decapitation, Travis Ryan, Brian Posehn, Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, Unearth, Skan, Subrosa, Rebecca Vernon, Housecore Horror 2014

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