This bullshit again. These bullshit people pretending to be a part of something. These people are infiltrating your modern society, convincing you so well that they’ve lost sight of the mission that they’ve convinced themselves. They start to regurgitate the doctrine they have been rebelling against, and it makes me feel desolate. These are the people who portray this culture and perpetuate the stereotypes that make it just that bit harder for some of us to get by.
So – to the cleansing, the antidote, Doomriders. The albums have been a mainstay not only on my playlist rotation, but more prominently in my thoughts. Those riffs that don’t just get stuck in your head like an awkward encounter with an unbalanced–at-best-ex partner, oh no, these riffs moved in, started a family and you’ve somehow started paying them for the privilege of having them reside in your brain. The right balance of all the right bits of your favourite classic rock bands, mixed and produced by this generations Rick Rubin, Kurt of Converge.
“WE ARE FUCKING DOOMRIDERS!” bellows singer/guitarist Nate as his introduction to the expectant crowd. Many here have never seen doomriders before, their last venture into this venue took place almost a decade ago, and this gathering of devotees were all too happy to converge in the Camden underworld (complete with brand new signage outside) to bear witness. The Underworld epitomises in many way what a true rock show should be like, and tonight is no exception. The band are so close you can touch them, the sweat dripping from Nate’s brow providing cool relief from the sticky, sweaty chaos going on down in the pit. Despite being so close to their crowd, the band is in every other way untouchable.
The energy of the band is not just apparent; it confronts you head on, forcing you to accept it. There is no alternative. The drummer ‘Q’ – a relatively new addition to the band plays a blistering set, grinning the whole time like a man infected with a mean, incurable disease whose only relief is in the form of pounding the skins of his kit. Q doesn’t let up this blistering intensity even once, nobody drops the ball here today. This band doesn’t get to tour too often, as I alluded to earlier, in that they are all tied up in other very relevant projects, but this one has a different feel to it. There is a strong bloodline here, tied to some of the bands that undoubtedly shaped how they learned to listen to music, Black Sabbath’s sludgy influence is apparent, with big riffs, effortlessly blended with the brutal efficiency of a hardcore band and then delicately sprinkled with melodies and their harmonies, reminiscent of Thin Lizzy. This is a concoction that encapsulates everything that is good and pure and true about modern heavy music, and yet rare, in that Doomriders stands out for being one of the few bands around making this kind of sound. Which is almost criminal when you consider just how many bands are around now, parading around under this masquerade of ‘alternative’, while unsuccessfully obscuring the faces of a thousand brain dead morons, who heard something good once, and then doomed themselves by focussing on what sells rather than what sounds good.
But back to the show, and what a show it is. New songs ‘Bad Vibes’ and ‘Dead Friends’ both manage to replace even the earth shatteringly catchy ‘Jealous God‘ as ‘that song in your head after the show’ – which is no mean feat, seeing as the majority of Doomriders’ songs have been implanted in my brain since the first time I was exposed to them – and the band’s performance of the classic tracks from previous albums was like opening that old bottle of Irish Whiskey that had gathered so much dust in the cupboard, waiting for that special day, that one taste you’ve been craving. These lads from Boston don’t disappoint live.
As Nate declares before the first albums eponymous ‘Black Thunder’ is played: “There’s a storm coming!” – there is yet hope that this band will return to our shores again and bring the storm back along with them. The appetite has been whetted now, and much like that first trickle of whiskey from the age old bottle; past the lips, over the tongue and down the throat of the alcoholic, the overwhelming urge for much, much more has this writer in it’s grip, and this thirst will only be quenched when the bottle is long gone.
Words by Rich Taylor
Illustration by Jason Bowles