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Goat Horn Live in Ottawa

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Correspondent
Monday, May 24, 2004 @ 1:24 PM


Goat Horn, Rammer and Joe Thra

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I've got a confession to make before I start off here: I accidentally slept through a bit of the show after helping some friends move and took a slight nap for 15 minutes only to wake up an hour later. With, for reasons unknown, the radio dial turned to a college station (rather, one of two college stations that are normally impossible to find). I realized my mistake when I woke up and heard that Joel Plaskett Emergency song that had that video shot in an abandoned school (maybe someone from the Ottawa PRP contingent -- both of you -- can help me out with that song title even though the song kinda sucked hemhorroid. And what's with that army jacket that he likes to wear in almost every TV appearance? Doesn't he look like a deserter from the Dutch military who probably watched a lot of round-the-clock coverage on BBC World about the Madrid train bombings and said "Wow, Spain's right!" before declaring himself a conscientious objector and moving to Canada to avoid going to help smoke out al-Sadr in Fallujah?) Isn't the whole Sweathog garage rock scene starting to play itself out now? On the way over to at least miss maybe 15 minutes of the show, thinking that opening acts rarely appear onstage on time, I happened to see a poster advertising a nearby Joel Plaskett gig somewhere downtown. The show was just him and the ticket price was about $25 thanks to that aforementioned video which got him exposure on MuchMusic. That's about $6 away from that Rock Never Stops concert with Warrant and Ratt I almost saw some 2 years ago, if the bands on the bill had remembered that a Canada Day concert featuring mostly Sunset Strip bands wouldn't sell out in one of the more predominantly patriotic western provinces in the country. Sure, they had poor hindsight but thanks to the alt-rock movement of the ‘90s, hair bands will soon be the new indie. Honest to God, one episode of that show played "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" and it wasn't a request. I'm looking forward to Stephen Pearcy co-hosting The Wedge and giving Hannah Sung the obligatory golden shower while Joel Plaskett's impromptu gig at Total Request Live with William Hung as guest host officially confirms him as the new John Mayer with a wardrobe straight out of the Salvation Army rather than Old Navy.

Yep, if Courtney hadn't messed him up on horse a decade ago and let him off himself back then, Kurt would probably have killed himself now at this point if he had watched that sad-ass spectacle, I thought to myself as I arrived at The Blue Zone. Too bad. He missed even more than I did. And this gig was $15 for three bands. Make that $15 for two bands rather than the whole three. Apologies to Joe Thrasher as I missed their entire show from sleeping in. Yes, I suck and didn't even bring any KNAC stickers to the gig either but take heart, guys, as your band name while sounding a smite corny at least wasn't misleading like, say, Billy Talent's. And having listened to some mp3's on your site the "Try Honesty" guys owe the second half of their name to y'all.

http://www.joethrasher.com/

Anyway, I'm inside and happen to catch four mostly shirtless guys cranking out some of the best Nile and Morbid Angel-inspired riffs with a Bay Area thrash vibe I've heard in some time. I couldn't make out the banner behind them and almost mistook them to either be Anvil or a tribute to Anvil. Must've been the flying V that did it. They turned out to be Toronto's own Rammer and they didn't seem to let up until everyone in the moshpit were well and truly bruised during their set. Brutal as all fuck, I still didn't catch the names of any more song titles past "WTC Inferno" (a graphic detail of Sept. 11 -- eat your heart out, Peter Jennings!), "Waste Lair" and the thrash-tastic "World Eaters." Hey, sometimes it's too much work to rush the stage and grab the band's setlist when nobody's looking...

http://www.rammer.ca

Pembroke, Ontario underground cult favorites Goat Horn take the stage. Bullet belts, pentagram sign on the drumset, concert T-shirts close to 2 decades old and long hair... according to some music publications (i.e., the ones that still want us to believe that Radiohead have another good album left in them), isn't this sort of image supposed to be "ironically dated" at this point? Y'know, like when American Hi-Fi pretended that they liked ‘80s metal and lifted/doctored a few scenes from Heavy Metal Parking Lot for that "Flavor Of The Week" video a few summers ago just to fool us into thinking that they had relevance in rock music just like Priest and Ozzy? That was being "ironic," right?

It probably is, and maybe Goat Horn know it as well. But the thing is: They don't care. The songs reflect this. That is, the ones I could recall at random:

"Gates Of Oppression": I think they started off with this song. Chugging riffs, a guttural growl... this has me sold. Jason Decay really does sound like a young Gord Kirchin. Almost makes one wonder if the Piledriver reunion should happen at all. Almost.

"Rotten Roll": One time working part time at a supermarket while attending university out west I had to throw out an entire display of these because they passed their expiry date. Kidding aside, you can say what you want about the song title but this battle hymn for everything true metal, slow and grinding and pacing itself during the first few verses before hurdling (or rather, rolling) into a 100 mph shred fest is their signature song for a reason. They even shot a video for this song last year and shipped it to MuchMusic, who, to my recollection, have not played it. Mainly because Loud has decided that Goat Horn's not metal enough to be in the same league as Weezer and the Aphex Twin and MuchMoreMusic recently showed its gratitude to PowerHour by cancelling it and replacing it with VH-1 bios on played out ‘90s teen pop stars. Fuck Orbital and yoga; Karina Huber should be sticking pins in her Britney Spears doll and listening to this song before a video emcee instead. Speaking of distaste for the once-great northern version of Headbanger’s Ball....

"Re-Animation" a.k.a the PowerHour theme song: Actually, Toronto thrash veterans Sacrifice recorded this song in 1989 and Jason Decay introduced it as "being the best thing about Powerhour, even moreso than the videos that they played on it." I should've challenged him to a debate on this. Remember, on Loud Limp Bizkit and Korn are the new Poison and Warrant with 100% less talent now. Note for note, it was the best version of this song I've heard. Also the only other version of this song I've heard but I remain impartial here.

"Storming In/Fortress Doomed": This is probably the part when everyone decided to, well, take the song title too literally. And that's when the small black dude jumped on stage. I thought it was part of the act. Goat Horn must've thought so too. It still didn't stop audience members, bouncers and roadies from also storming the stage and punting him off. Twice. Great bass solo.

"Voyage To Nowhere": And that's when the small black dude jumped on stage again. Ironically he was one of the few people in the pit that night who could handle himself in a circle unlike the spectacled Chester Bennington clone in front of me who could barely stand up and kept poking me in the side of the head trying to do a devil horn sign all night. That was probably the first concert he's ever been to where the band doesn't take requests for unplugged covers of "Better Man" and "Rockin' In The Free World." He lost his glasses that same night while in the pit too. Next time stick to contacts and drinking Sprite. Loser.

"Eternal Quest For Eternal Happiness": It was one of the rare occasions where Goat Horn took us back in time to their earlier material. Back to when guitarist Brandon Wars was only 19 years old. In 2001. As you could tell, the song wasn't that old.

"Wasted Warrior": This was probably when they brought this big metal beer keg out to the stage and set the top of it on fire. That's more than a subtle hint to prove that they've toured with Thor more than a few times.

"See You In Hell": The second and last cover (and song) of the evening. Flawless. Pretty much like the whole concert itself.

Someday either one of these bands will claim the throne after the Darkness are forced to forfeit it. They won't even need to cite reasons in Guitar World why Thom Yorke is overrated although it wouldn't hurt. The music's already demonstrated that.

http://www.goathorn.com



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