Goat Horn and Joe Thrasher Live In Ottawa

By Newsferatu, Writer
Wednesday, March 1, 2006 @ 3:50 PM

At Cafe Dekcuf, Ottawa 2/3/06

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By Andrew Depedro a.k.a. The Space Lord

Let me start off by saying that 2005 was the bumper year of concerts for Ottawa. Maybe you could attest this to the NHL strike from last winter which made the Scotiabank Centre (formerly the Corel Centre) more available for big name bands to schedule shows while the Senators were locked out. Maybe you could attest this to several bands who hadn't been to Ottawa in decades (U2, Rolling Stones, Motorhead, Anvil, etc.) and caved in out of guilt for having avoided the city and its fans for so long (the Stones in particular made up for the lengthy absence by shooting the video for "Streets Of Love" here; someone let me know what the video was like someday as I'm really curious as to how the end result came out). Or maybe thank these reviews I tend to post on KNAC from time to time because maybe Bono and Mick Jagger actually read these articles? *shrugs*

Oh, and my only excuse for not submitting as many shows that I did see over the last year was because it was getting too hard to keep up with the rocking out so belated apologies to Into Eternity, Krisiun, Strapping Young Lad, Hate Eternal and the Atomic Bitchwax among a few others. And to Deep Purple, April Wine, Tesla, Porcupine Tree, Aerosmith and Nashville Pussy among others for missing their shows entirely due to work/lack of money/other scheduling conflicts.

Moving on...

February 3 was the perfect date for this show. Mainly because most of us had another option for entertainment that night other than Tom Cochrane & Red Rider reuniting to inaugurate this year's Winterlude festival. Hey, Tom may sing about the lunatic fringe but Goat Horn and company live it. Plus Frank Marino's a better guitarist than Cochrane anyway. Judging from openers Phalanx even their 2 guitarists could put latter-day Cochrane to complete shame these days. When the Gatineau power metal sextet rocked the stage last summer as openers for Anvil the headlining act's gear took up a bit more of the stage than required but they perservered. This time the band were able to move around a lot more (give or take a few dozen centimetres since Cafe Dekcuf's stage is more reserved for four-piece punk bands) and the lead vocalist now has a new stage move: jumping into the moshpit and joining in the circle during a solo and getting back onstage to resume singing the song afterwards. Can't say that Tom Cochrane would be able to pull that off while in the middle of the harmonica solo for "Life Is A Highway".

As for the songs, I still don't recognize any of the others beyond "Into The Dark" and "Tides Of March" no matter how hard I try. I probably should look into buying their debut CD to get more familiar with their songs if I haven't already got it myself. And if you're into Manowar, Gamma Ray and Rhapsody as much as the band members are themselves you should also get their debut CD at their site. At $10 per copy the money sure could buy a better stage outfit for their keyboardist.


Up next were Pembroke's Cryptic "no relation to Messy" Stench, a local 3-piece thrash/death metal band with a hint of hardcore influences in their music. Come to think of it, "hardcore" would best describe their fanbase rather than the band's music which runs the death metal gamut from early Slayer and Cannibal Corpse to latter-day bands like Exhumed and Cryptopsy (the latter I just happened to recall seeing last Halloween but was too busy to review the show - sorry, where were we?). I say a "hardcore" fanbase mainly because there was this one mohawked dude who kept swinging from the rafters and attempting to throw himself into the moshpit from the ceiling. Five times. I wish the band members themselves hadn't encouraged him half the time but when you're listening to pretty intense material like "A Series Of Horrifying And Mysterious Deaths", "I Spit On Your Grave", "Black Plague" and a rendition of "Bitches In Ditches" which lead 3/4 of the way into Obituary's "Slowly We Rot" you can't expect the crowd to not get overexcited. And "The Bog Of Eternal Stench" is probably the best death metal song that should be about the guacamole dip that Messy whatshername had for dinner the night before but isn't. I still say leave the gymnastics at the Hatebreed and Ten-era Pearl Jam concerts where they came from though.


Oh my God, for once a review on a Joe Thrasher concert that actually involved me seeing the band play live! And it was worth it. Self-described as "4 average Joes gone metal thrashing mad", the Ottawa foursome wear their influences on their sleeves which range from the traditional inspirations such as Slayer to chant-friendly Bay Area thrash underdogs such as Vio-lence and Forbidden (hell, their self-titled anthem is probably the most classic example of what Vio-lence sounded like back in the day). Solid performance by the band with their key songs "Joe Thrasher" and "Run To Your Mommy" among others being the highlight of the show. And maybe it was just me but I swear that was the first time I'd heard their bass player Gumby say anything while onstage other than provide backing vocals. Usually he'd just headbang to the music but that night he was a lot more animated and got the crowd riled up. You're only as good as your audience, according to the old showbiz adage. Which means that the audience were just as good. The lead singer of Cryptic Stench enjoyed the set judging by the number of times he was crowd surfing that night. As did Mohawked Gymnast Person who almost fell on me twice performing his Eddie Vedder-meets-Mary Lou Retton act.

So why is Joe Thrasher's name the only other name to appear in the headline out of the 3 other opening bands? Well, I did promise them a worthy write-up of their show when I last saw them nearly 2 years ago opening up for the exact same headliner at another venue (or a bit later) so this is it. Plus I want to throw to the cue where I'm with Exciter bass player Clammy and former Phalanx guitarist Dave at the bar downstairs laughing at some other opening band doing the most dismal cover of Nirvana's "In Bloom" ever recorded followed by an equally bad cover of that awful "Pump Up The Jam" song from Technotronic. Because name-dropping is fun. Plus I think Bullwhip was curious about what's been going on with Exciter since the 80's.

    "Suddenly that shitty Nirvana cover sounds good right about now" - Clammy

An awkward way to end a concert review of the co-headlining band but the cue's been thrown, the band's 2 websites were just posted and back in 1989 I sure wish anything by Joe Thrasher had been played at my high school dances instead of fucking "Pump Up The Jam".


Headliners Goat Horn, while pretty much unknown to some of the KNAC ranters who weren't too keen on the band when I reviewed them the first time around when they played the Blue Zone in 2004, seem to be the "it" band among some of the DJ's here lately. Crazy Craig's put "Rotten Roll" from their debut CD Storming The Gates on regular rotation a few times on Super Rock Sunday after declaring the band logo as something straight off of any thrash album recorded in 1982 and Drewcifer interviewed the lead singer before on The Vault which I clearly missed because vocalist Jason Decay told me all about it that night at the show. As for the show itself, the highlights - if not the most memorable parts - would be:

The inclusion of 2 new songs, "Threatening Force" and "Rise Into The Night" off of the upcoming Threatening Force CD in the setlist. "Rise Into The Night"'s title alone screams heavy fucking metal.

Another appearance of Mohawked Gymnast Boy during "Voyage To Nowhere" but this time as one of the other guys besides myself who helped carry the lead singer of Cryptic Stench in his 5th attempt at stagediving. Then he went back to swing from the rafters again.

Someone actually trying to make off with the coveted Goat Horn beer keg during the opener "Gates Of Oppression" right in full view of the band. Decay should've ritually disemboweled him for such blatant disrespect. Or had him thrown out. Either punishment would've been so very metal.

The bass solo to "Storming In/Fortress Doomed" still being awesome.

The fact that all the songs Goat Horn played that night were original and no one was missing their awesome cover of "See You In Hell" that they usually close with at their shows.

Exciter bass player Clammy nabbing one of the sticks the drummer threw into the crowd. And then the ceremonial torching of the beer keg in the name of all that is heavy and metal.

In short, an awesome show and Goat Horn are well on their way to where 3 Inches Of Blood are at right now. Phalanx, Joe Thrasher and Cryptic Stench are about ready to take their place too. It looks to be a fierce battle from here on in. I'm sure even Lita Horn would agree.


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