The Birth Defects And Here Lies Man At Gold Diggers, Tuesday January 14th 2020
Dirty Laundry TV had its first show of the year at Gold Diggers last night, and for a Tuesday night, a good crowd had filled the small bar to listen to the music of two LA bands, The Birth Defects and Here Lies Man…
I have seen the Birth Defects quite a few times, even at Punk Rock Bowling two years ago, and their music is still a challenge to describe! It’s loud and heavy, gritty and raw, animated by massive guitar riffs like good old hard rock, but at the same time, it gets more complicated with some rock parts embracing pure mayhem. Singer-guitarist Jason Finazzo has a remarkable graveling and deep howl while bassist Philip Nielsen has an unpredictable choreography which, coupled with pounding drums by Anthony Drinkwater, bring their chaotic sound to the next level. Last night, if there was no trace of guitarist Tim Dawson who usually completes the quartet, they were this same roaring and unruly punk machine producing monster riffs and crazy dissonances reaching psychedelic madness.
Their impressive sound blends punk, hardcore, and metal with guitar virtuoso hardcore numbers like ‘YOLF’or pure fun punk assaults like ‘Party Suicide’, followed by more complicated numbers bringing headbanging and epic distortion. There’s nothing predictable about the Birth Defects, each time their bastard mix blows up the audience’s mind with a hardcore urgency, noise rock elements, intricated mathcore bits, tempo shifts, heavy sludgy riffs, and Finazzo’s beast metal vocals. This was a good and fun chaos from start to finish which they ended up with some of my favorites, ‘Endless Pain’ and ‘I Should be Dead’, two songs from their 2018 LP ‘Everything Is Fine’. Their intense compositions were played loud enough to blow up the amps, and played with enough conviction to resurrect the hard rock titans of the past
In comparison, Here Lies Man were not the same head trip at all, as they played a more space-y, more groove-oriented original blues, although they could go very heavy too. Frontman Chico Mann told us they were playing the soundtrack to an imaginary movie that we call life, with each song being a different scene, and the music tended to be very instrumental with few vocals. The surprises came very fast with sudden exotic tempos, an unexpected Afrobeat style escaping from their bluesy-funky guitars. Founded by members of Antibalas, they have been described as Black Sabbath playing Afrobeat, and if the guitar riffs were loud and clear and their vocals intense, they were building an almost hypnotic groove, floating between genres. never too close to metal, they had nevertheless a heavy side infiltered by plenty of world-music layers, and the repetitiveness of some of their tracks was reinforcing their exoticness and intriguing sound. It was a meandrous series of unique-sounding (almost) instrumentals followed by quieter interludes. Their 2018 album ‘You Will Know Nothing’ received many praises whereas the band has even furthered its genre-exploration and rhythmic experimentation in their 2019 ‘No Ground To Walk Upon’,
There will be other Dirty Laundry TV events in the near future, check them out.