Friday, March 28, 2003 @ 0:34 AM
HTOM Live at The Saint in Asbu
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REVIEW BY: Slam68
I recently told you about Hat Trick Of Misery when they appeared with King’s X at The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ. On this night Hat Trick Of Misery were headlining The Saint, a small venue that holds 200 people jam packed, in their hometown of Asbury Park , NJ. I arrived shortly before their 11PM set and sat down to have a beer. The place was filling up rather quickly so I made my move over to the sound board so that I could get the optimum vantage point.
As the band went through a quick line check, I caught Hat Trick Of Misery’s lead singer Steven Statland walking through the crowd making his way to the stage. I introduced myself telling him how much I enjoyed the set when they opened for King’s X and how much I like their demo. He said thanks and gave me a t-shirt from the merch table. Cool! Then the lights went down and the show started.
Hat Trick Of Misery goes for the jugular! They opened the show with “The Answer,” a song that starts off with a stop and go riff that just pounds away rhythmically. The vocals are reminiscent of Halford, dynamically speaking, and there are harmonies on the chorus.
The next 2 songs I had not heard before. The 2nd song called was an up-tempo tune with a chunky riff that got the crowd bouncing. The next song had a heavy mid tempo feel very plodding with a sweet time change at the end. After the first 3 songs, Steven told the audience that they had just heard 2 new songs that had been written recently and that they would here more new songs as the set progressed. The next song was “ NYC,” and it is from their demo. This song is driven by a great riff, in fact these guys write great guitar riffs!! This song is about hanging out in the city that never sleeps. With references to KISS, The Yankees, 42nd St., now defunct nightclubs The Cat Club and The Scrap Bar, and even Warrior Soul main man Kory Clarke. The crowd was really getting into it. These guys have tremendous stage presence and the audience ate it up. Crash Evil, the bass player, and Steven were just working the crowd from the git go.
The 5th and 6th songs I had heard at the last show I saw them play. The 5th song had a fast Alice In Chains feel to it with big harmonies on the chorus and the song after that started off with this pounding rhythm and cool guitar sounds. The vocals were very dynamic whisper to a scream delivery and almost reminded me of Sebastian Bach on some parts. Once again, tasty harmonies on the chorus. I have to tell you that these guys were killing it! Drummer Kelsey Thomas was relentless with his skin bashing. He just beats the hell out of the drums. Really great drummer. Kind of Scott Travis meets Alex Van Halen. His playing just drives this band. The 7th song was “My World” and that is off the demo. This song is about being fed up with the programming of society and having to deal with people who follow like sheep. Steven rants about being looked down upon by the masses, corrupt cops, MTV, freedom of speech and so on . Kind of reminded me of Henry Rollins a little bit. The audience loved this song. Very powerful song.
They closed out the set with a killer to-the-tee version of “22 Acacia Avenue” by Iron Maiden. The band nailed it. And when Steven said, “Scream for me Asbury Park!!” the audience obliged. These guys rocked it hard. I have not seen this in awhile in a small club but these guys got an encore! So what do they do? Steven stepped up to the mic and said something about AC/DC being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the band broke into a blistering version of “Whole Lotta Rosie.” A very tight performance.
Hat Trick Of Misery is a band that should be given a good look. They definitely have that something special in my opinion. The guitar player’s work great together. Mitch plays mostly rhythm and he has that James Hetfield crunchy style, a very solid player indeed. His sound is awesome and he kills it! Bob plays lead and he is one of those screaming guitar players who rips it out. His solo’s were on the money and in line with Randy Rhoads, Kirk Hammet, etc… I highly recommend checking out these guys.
One More Time
Eye To Eye
22 Acacia Avenue
Whole Lotta Rosie