Welcome to the LOUDEST DOT COM ON THE PLANET!
KNAC.COM News Reviews and More Watch The Latest Videos Buy KNAC T-shirts and More


Sefany Jones Reviews Strapping Young Lad Live in Hollywood

By Sefany Jones, Contributing Editor
Tuesday, September 23, 2003 @ 4:11 PM


Strapping Young Lad Live at th

- advertisement -
Strapping Young Lad… now this is one of those bands I’ve “heard of,” but never actually heard their music or had the first clue about who they were or what they played. All I knew is that some freak-ass looking lunatic by the name of Devin Townsend helmed this band with his inexplicable hair. At the persistent nudging of KNAC writer Chris Hawkins, who touts Townsend as nothing less than ‘genius,’ and the fact that SYL were on tour with my own personal metal gods, Superjoint Ritual, I decided to check these guys out to make sure I wasn’t missing out on anything. Well, it would appear I have been missing out since 1995…

Now, having missed their set two weeks earlier when they were in town with SJR at the House of Blues, I did however have the pleasure of meeting some of the band at that show afterwards. Drummer Gene Hoglan, guitarist Jed Simon and keyboardist “Mush” were about as sweet as they come. Teddy bear Gene made trips back and forth to check on his elderly parents that were at the show – his dad proudly sporting an SYL t-shirt, Jed was cracking Canadian jokes and Mush was just the kind of guy you just wanted to pinch his little chubby cheeks! I mean, come on… how metal could these nice boys be…?

Two weeks later, I got my answer – along with an education in metal and a good sonic ass-whoopin’!

I showed up to the Whisky fairly late, skipping out on Intestinal, Strangulation, Dizkord, Shadow Academy and Artisan. SYL was sandwiched between Cathedral and Samael, headlining. I mean, come on – eight bands on a Sunday night? I must be getting old, ‘cause I couldn’t hang with that. Anyway, it only took me about 10 seconds into Cathedral when I decided it wasn’t for me and snuck out elsewhere until SYL came on.

I’ll admit it: I just ASSUMED Strapping Young Lad was going to be this repetitive, cookie monster growling death metal band. Why did I think this? I dunno – same reason a lot of us just judge a band by their name, or their lead singer’s appearance – what have you. I mean – I tried the week before to sit through Hate Eternal’s set… and I just couldn’t do it. I want to like Erik Rutan – I do – but it was just unbearable. But since SYL was so cool and accommodating to me before, I was willing to grit my teeth and give it a chance…

What I got was an ultra tight-knit audio pummeling of brutal and yet melodic riffs drenched in sickness and in light-hearted humor.

Devin Townsend’s vocals are anything but “cookie monster.” This man is just an absolutely fascinating frontman to watch. He has the most intense facial expressions – he’s got those Charles Manson eyes, just spearing daggers into you. His in-between song banter was more of that of a circus barker: “I feel like 10 pounds of shit in a five pound bag… but thank god my hair looks good!” He said the funniest fucking shit in between songs – I wish I could’ve written it all down…

- advertisement -
Guitarist Jed Simon is Zakk Wylde’s evil twin on crack. His fingers were a blur most of the time, and I think I saw his face twice through his mane of sweat-soaked hair in his face like Cousin It. Even railing his flying V’s at lightening speed, every riff stood out and echoed in pure clarity. Keyboardist Mush attacked his keyboard like he was wrestling a thousand pound alligator munching on his loved ones. He was banging his head so hard I was sure he must have key prints ingrained into his forehead. Hilariously enough, later he told me about a time he actually did smack his noggin one time so hard, that he would never, ever do it again.

Bassist Byron Stroud kept the low end brutal and crushing. Seemingly the quiet one of the bunch, he mostly kept to himself and just pounded out the rhythm in perfect synchronicity with drummer Gene Hoglan. And what a trip that Hoglan is… fucking badass, monster-sized drummer, sitting up straight with perfect posture as his hair blows in the breezes of a fan, spinning and throwing his sticks, catching them, never missing a beat. I mean, this guy looked so relaxed you’d think he was sunbathing on the coast of France or something – but here he is, annihilating the skins like Tyson kicking the shit out of his girlfriends.

SYL blasted off tracks from their albums Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing and City, as well as quite a few tracks off their latest self-titled CD, released earlier this year on Century Media. When it came to an end, there were no encores, no confetti cannons or pyros or fireworks… just a deafening buzz in my eardrums and an education in metal: Never judge a book by its cover – you just might miss out on something far beyond your expectations…


Back to Top

 

 

 Recent Reviews
ULI JON ROTH In Ottawa, Canada
RAVEN, VICIOUS RUMORS, LUTHARO In Ottawa, Canada
BLIND GUARDIAN, NIGHT DEMON In Worcester, MA With Photos!
FIREWIND, EDGE OF PARADISE, IMMORTAL GUARDIAN In Houston, TX With Photos!
KERRY KING From Hell I Rise
DARKTHRONE It Beckons Us All
KAMELOT, HAMMERFALL, AD INFINITUM In Fort Worth, TX With Photos!
ASKING ALEXANDRIA, MEMPHIS MAY FIRE, THE WORD ALIVE, NERV In Salt Lake City, UT
ARTILLERY, VAPOR, POTENTIAL THREAT, INFRARED In Ottawa, Canada
BABYLON A.D. Rome Wasn't Built In A Day
ILLUSORY The Ivory Tower Reissue
GHOSTKID Hollywood Suicide
DAATH The Deceivers
ACCEPT Humanoid
BRUCE DICKINSON In Santa Ana, CA With Photos!
GREAT WHITE, SLAUGHTER, QUIET RIOT In Houston, TX With Photos!
STATIC-X, SEVENDUST, LINES OF LOYALTY In Salt Lake City, UT With Photos!
JUDAS PRIEST, SABATON In Youngstown, OH With Photos!
ROCK & BREWS Ridgefield, WA Grand Opening With Photos!
WIND ROSE, XANDRIA, LYCANTHRO In Ottawa, Canada
THE ROCK ORCHESTRA By Candlelight In Myrtle Beach, SC With Photos!
DEICIDE Banished By Sin
2024 MONSTERS OF ROCK CRUISE Recap With Photos!
LITA FORD In West Hollywood, CA With Photos!
BREAKING BENJAMIN, DAUGHTRY, CATCH YOUR BREATH In Idaho Falls, ID With Photos!
TYGERS OF PAN TANG Live Blood
FILTH Southern Hostility
NECROT Lifeless Birth
WAGE WAR, NOTHING MORE, VEIL OF MAYA, SLEEP THEORY In Charlotte, NC With Photos!
SESSANTA, Featuring A PERFECT CIRCLE, PRIMUS, PUSCIFER In Houston, TX With Photos!
ASKING ALEXANDRIA, MEMPHIS MAY FIRE, THE WORD ALIVE, NERV In Houston, TX With Photos!
RAVEN, VICIOUS RUMORS, LUTHARO, WICKED In West Hollywood, CA With Photos!
HIGH ON FIRE Cometh The Storm
DETHKLOK, DRAGONFORCE, NEKROGOBLIKON In Myrtle Beach, SC With Photos!
BLACKTOP MOJO Pollen
JOB FOR A COWBOY Moon Healer
COLD SWEAT Unburied Alive
BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME, ACACIA STRAIN In Santa Ana, CA With Photos!



HOME | MAGAZINE | VIDS | STORE | HELP/POLICIES

©2024 KNAC.COM. All Rights Reserved.    Link to us    Advertise with us    Privacy policy
 Latest News