The Back Room, Friday, March 18
Sometimes being probed by a metal detector is just the thing to start off your night. No crevice left unexplored. Pockets emptied. Nether regions caressed. It almost prepared the black-clad crowd for the speed metal of Canadian quintet Cursed, which did not go undetected. "I want to thank the industry," said lead growler Chris Colohan, before locking and loading "Reparations" from their latest album II, which would have surely sent any power-handshake ponytail types running for the door. Each song in Cursed's short but heavy set was a tease a thrash metal train that derails at the last minute and tumbles into sludgy Sabbath-land, leaving you aching for the climax. The diminutive Colohan screamed and paced like a late-night cable access preacher, peeling tape off a pole in front of the stage and wrapping it around his waist and pummeling his microphone like a grade-school bully. Drummer Mike Maxymuik demolished his kit while guitarist Christian McMaster literally had smoke coming off his fingers. One of the last songs, "Opposable Thumbs" fell into a solid hardcore groove that complemented Colohan's politically erect lyrics. Their loud/fast/loud/slow formula and tighter-than-a-duck's-ass hardcore/old-school metal leanings place them neatly behind "it" bands like Dillinger Escape Plan or Mastodon. But Cursed has something up their sleeve, something no metal detector can find, and by this time next year, they may not even need to thank the industry.
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