Hunnypot Does...
Powered by CircleSquareLA


Written by 

On November 19th 2018,  Sunset Strip's Roxy Theater was in for an ear-crushing combination of New York Hardcore and Louisiana Sludge, a transition from extremely fast tempos to extremely slow, straight edge vs stoned.  Headlining acts Cro-Mags and EyeHateGod were set to take the stage. Being pioneers of Hardcore Punk and Sludge Metal respectively, the show almost felt like two different concerts in one, while still catering to a similar fanbase of abrasive, grinding, guitar-driven noise. The Cro-Mags are a hardcore punk band from New York City formed in 1981. The group has released 5 studio albums total, although their first two; "The Age Of Quarrel" (1986) and "Best Wishes" (1989) are the best known. The band is considered one of the most influential bands to come out of the 80's New York Hardcore scene. Eyehategod is an American sludge metal band from New Orleans, formed in 1988. Over the years, they have become one of the biggest acts that comes to mind when discussing the New Orleans metal scene, associated with bands like Down, Crowbar and Superjoint Ritual. Coming out of two drastically different scenes and bringing varying musical styles to the table, I was intrigued at the combination when I first saw the two logos sharing a flyer and knew I had to see it in person.

As the lights cut out and curtain lifted, the Clockwork Orange theme began, and the Cro-Mags eventually made their way to the stage, I noticed that the venue didn't bother to put up a barrier in front of the stage, knowing it would have been useless at a Cro-Mags concert. The band opened up immediately with "World Peace" and people were seemingly moshing before the song started, like a light had just been flicked on. It quickly became evident that the band has earned their cult following over the course of their 30 year career and then some. The groups entire setlist was a nonstop wave of thrashing bodies. Moshing, crowdsurfing and stagediving, in that order. Frontman John Joseph passed the mic and shared vocal duties with the crowd (who knew every word) on virtually every chorus of the setlist and never missed a beat. With the majority of the setlist from the groups debut album, an audience consisting of Punks, Thrashers and Skinheads violently jumping off and landing back on top of each other, and not a single cell phone in sight, the gig was like a throwback to 1986. The crowd lost it when the band covered some tunes by DC Hardcore legends Bad Brains, playing "Right Brigade" and "Attitude" and it didnt take long before well over half the people on stage were from the audience. As wild as the show got, the positive energy in the room radiated. The shared experience and raw passion for the music combined with the intense audience participation that the band welcomes with open arms really fueled the fire. By far, one of the most energetic live bands I've ever seen.

Eyehategod took the stage and immediately turned their backs, letting the guitar and bass feedback into the amps creating their trademark, sludgey wall of sound that pierces your ears while simultaneously hitting your chest with vibrations of the heavy bass. I noticed that guitarist Jimmy Bower was using a downtuned 6 string guitar as a 5 string, and their riffs and guitar tone reminded me of "Master of Reality" era Black Sabbath, gone Southern Rock. Thick, sludgy and dark, as if he wanted his guitar to sound like audible pipe resin. With the slow, crawling doom tempos, Hardcore punk elements, and vocalist Mike William's harsh shrieking, the band ties it all together with a swung, bluesy southern swagger that seems to come naturally to the guys. They have the kind of sound that is capable of defining a subgenre in itself, what is now known as "Sludge Metal," though I've heard the group strays from being labelled as such. The band's setlist contained somewhat of a sampling of songs from various albums throughout their years, from their most recent self titled album, "EyeHateGod" (2014) including "Medicine Noose" and "The Age of Bootcamp", the single "New Orleans Is The New Vietnam", all the way back to their sophomore album "Take As Needed For Pain" (1993) playing "Sister Fucker." Everyone in the room seemed to be nodding their head along subconsciously to the grooves, and the slow, droning guitar riffs had a hypnotic, spacey effect to them. As someone that has previously never seen EHG play before,  what I loved about their set was despite the occasional break in between songs, the setlist seemed to flow in a way live that made it feel more like one, seemingly endless, mammoth jam session.  This seems common among a lot of psychedelic and doom metal bands, but EHG added another layer to their sound which was disorienting in the best way possible.  Their additional layers of feedback added a sense of post-apocalyptic atmosphere which took their set to a whole new level. Seeing them live made me an instant fan, and think you'll feel the same way when they play your favorite venue in the not so distant future.


Neil Metcalf

Writer - Los Angeles

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Twitter