Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sunn O))) w/Eagle Twin at Mercy Lounge, 9/30/09

Posted By on Thu, Oct 1, 2009 at 11:00 AM

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Check out the slideshow for more photos: Sunn O))); Eagle Twin.

Holy shit, we can still hear! It's a miracle! Wednesday night's show at the Mercy Lounge with doom merchants Sunn O))) and Eagle Twin might have been the loudest show we've ever seen, in a career filled with earsplitting episodes. Hours afterward, we could still feel the sub-bass of Sunn O)))'s epic power drones pulsing through our bodies--and no, it's not the DTs. Those feel totally different. Thank God we actually wore earplugs for once.

The Spinn O))) arrived just in time to catch Salt Lake City's cataclysmic drum/guitar duo Eagle Twin lay down some gnarly shards of deep-grooved, feedback-strewn metal. While some of our sweater vest-wearing, Walkmen-listening, Beatles-fellating acquaintances might not see the appeal, this is the stuff we live for--over-fuzzed low end, blistering guitar solos and thundering drums. Cranking out the better part of their excellent debut The Unkindness of Crows, Eagle Twin had clearly won over the crowd of heshers, punkers, preppies and rednecks by the time their all-too-brief set was over. Those dudes are some serious melt-face motherfuckers.

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Sunn O))) was anti-climatic, which is kind of the point--they are the biggest, loudest ambient band the world has ever known. Their set started with nothing but guttural chanting straight from a Mario Bava movie and the hiss of fog machines, and the crowd's anticipation became palpable as visibility dropped down to three, maybe four, feet. About 10 minutes into the intro somebody turned on the stage lights and the crowd went nuts--10 minutes after that, the band came onstage. Sunn O))) are nothing if not tempered and deliberate, with subtle changes in tone or position becoming seismic shifts as they rung out through the wall of amplifiers on the Mercy stage. On top of their own rig, Sunn O))) had the all of the subwoofers from the Cannery brought up for reinforcement--y'know, so you couldn't miss anything. If you were standing outside. Across the parking lot. Over by the Frist Center.

We now understand what it feels like to be a speaker cabinet, and we apologize to every one we've ever owned. The volume was so intense, and the bass so low, that earplugs only seemed to amplify the sound of our brains smashing into the sides of our skulls. Our eyeballs were shaking and intestines reorganizing as vocalist Attila Csihar incanted demonic poetry and made evil-y gestures with his fingers. And while they may not have hit the brown note, the combination of sub-sub-sub-bass and cheap beer definitely found the yellow note--totes super weird, really.

We took that as a sign to step outside and catch a moment of fog-free air, only to find the entire facade of the Mercy Lounge--bricks and all--vibrating in time to the music. In-fucking-tense. After our breather, we went back in and found Csihar had stepped up the showmanship, donning gloves with lasers on the fingertips. Thank God we hadn't scored any hallucinogens before the show, 'cause those laser-gloves would have freaked us the fuck out. We would have been cowering in a corner, clenching our ass cheeks and praying for deliverance from the Devil's Yoga Soundtrack. And we would have missed one of the most mind-bending, ass-kicking shows we've seen all year, which would have been a shame.

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