Indiana doombringers Wretch made Polish Hill shake the other night at that perennial dive bar hideout for nocturnals known as Gooski’s. On record they are decidedly Dark Age and gothic, recalling The Gates of Slumber, burly frontman/axeman Karl Simon’s former band, whose last album Wretch is named after. This outing, however, had a bluesier, jammier feel, yet in no way lacked volume and punch. Studied technician drummer Dustin Boltjes, who has played with Skeletonwitch (!) among many other acts, nailed it down as bassist Bryce Clarke wrapped thick D’Angelo chords around it. With a strong self-titled debut album out for a few moons now, I think Wretch are obviously poised to headline festivals someday with their imposing talent and influential heritage. Their credibility can only grow from here.
Locals Olympic Village were something entirely different, offering up a set of Buzzcocks/Velvet Underground/Pixies-tinged alternative rock played with a power pop Tubes-ish verve. Quite fun, the band had friends and galpals living it up and pogoing as if they were watching Green Day headline a Vans Warped stand. While not my kind of music, I appreciated their energy and sunny vibe.
Another Pittsburgh band, Molasses Barge, went on second from the top and were more in line with the show’s Sabbatherian theme. An area “supergroup” of sorts featuring members of Argus, Penance, Monolith Wielder, and Motorpsychos, to name but a few of the bands the current personnel have played in, this gig featured the debut of Barry Mull on guitar. Mull, who has played in Mi’Gauss, Rottrevore, Funerus, and Sub-Effect made his presence known, filling the small, smoky venue with Iommi’s thunder as lauded throat Brian Balich aired out the carbon in his lungs with the fury of a thousand Messiahs at Helsinki Metal Meeting.
Second hatchetman, prolific musician Justin Gizzi complimented Mull as huntress Amy Bianco plucked the bass as if she were offing the heads of heretics. Exceptional drummer Wayne Massey sounded like an alternate universe Jason Bonham. The 70’s were alive once more. It’s another example of how doom lies underneath it all, these five individuals coming from a number of disparate metal sub-genres to create something primordial and back-to-basics.
A late-evening Friday treat for indie rockers and hessians this was. I’d missed Wretch at least twice before when they played Pittsburgh and am glad I chose not to squirrel myself away at home this time. Make sure you catch ’em your damn selves when next they lurk around your metropolis or countryside.