Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., Nov. 14, 2008
Mammoth GrinderWaterloo Park, Nov. 8
Nearly imperceptible, the secret high sign may have, in fact, come directly from the stage, where Mammoth Grinder shuddered and shook like prehistoric quarry caught in the death throes of premature fossilization. Regardless, one U18 with a large "X" on his fist nodded to another, and on the local trio's second song early on Saturday, the merry-go-mosh circled the wagons all elbows and testosterone stomp. Onstage, guitarist Chris Ulsh nodded approvingly, his hardcore vocal scrot blistering the mic as bassist Chris Camp's blue eyes glinted a Mona Lisa smile and drum engineer Brian Boeckman drove Mammoth Grinder with relentless, two-ton kick-drum footfalls. Austin metal flourishes up and down Red River, but Mammoth Grinder actually summoned the ghosts of two 1990s Texas institutions, tight as early Toadies and as corrosive as Brutal Juice, yet all Rage and Ruin, the threesome's recent debut LP. The group's upcoming 7-inch got a live plug, the two Chrises' dual vocal exhaust feeding the set-ending dirgy ooze that matched Mammoth Grinder's metallic blitz with earthshaking ecstasy.