Words by Matt Hutchison | Photos by Matt Nielson
“I always hear people say that metal is dead, punk is dead, rock is dead or _____is dead. The issue is, people get behind something in droves and when that “coolness” factor dies out, they leave. It’s not that anything is dead; it’s only that you gave up on it. For me, I never gave up on music and that’s why I put so much into what I do with Church Of The 8th Day and to be very honest, the bands and the fans that I deal with or see at my shows are just like me..die hards, lifers and stalwarts of the scene. We’re the people who don’t let fads, hashtags, social media or trends dictate what we listen to or love. We’re the ones that were there before, we’re there during and we’ll remain when the fly-by-nighters head off into the sunset.” – Daniel Dismal (Founder – Church Of The 8th Day Productions)
On Sunday, March 5th an eight hour long sermon of Sabbath worship occurred within the walls of The Complex with the So-Cal Super Stoner Sunday Potluck bringing together the heathens, heshers and metal heads from all over Los Angeles to grill brats and burgers, down Belgian beers and catch a heavy rock show. The master of ceremonies, Church of The 8th Day demonstrated their unraveled support for the scene with the organization of this event for the metal community along with curating the day’s soundtrack with the selection of seven high-caliber acts from all over California. For eight hours, these seven groups blasted the venue with riffs accompanied by some occasional melodies ranging from the genres of cavernous doom, stoner/grunge and classic rock with a concentrated dose of old school thrash/stoner to end it all. It was a solid bill through and through, here’s why:
Electric Parlor kicked the late afternoon off with a thirty-minute set of heavy blues riffing with sparse vocals throughout their demonstration. At first it seemed like only a line check was occurring when they plugged in but then each member of the four piece came together as a unit to everyone’s attention and gave off a vibe that John Paul Jones is sitting in on a session with Earthless, a great way to kick things off for everyone.
The scent of grilled carne asada has now filled the patio and the sound of what is reminiscent to the first four Black Sabbath records fills the Complex halls, The Rare Breed have taken the stage. Their brand of Sabbath rehash has caught them some attention on social media and for thirty minutes they delivered a steady set that had them live up to their hype, worth keeping an eye out for future activity.
Up next was one of the standouts of the night, the Ripple Music stalwarts Salem’s Bend. These guys executed a good take on 70’s heavy rock ala Grand Funk Railroad with a proto-punk influence throughout their half hour set all while creating audience members into new fans in the process (they got this guy). Checking out their bandcamp after the event, they are one of those rarities where their live sound captures their tone on record, definitely worth looking into.
Batting fourth in the lineup was a bit of a departure from the first three with Lords Of Beacon House bringing us more of a psychedelic heavy rock sound than the predecessors before them.
More bodies pile in the confines from the patio area and San Francisco’s Disastroid hits the stage and exhibit one of the most intense and full throttle sets of the night. Front man Enver Koneya and his band mates delivered big time with their set list comprising a range of their catalog spanning from their 2009 Money & Death record to their latest Love Is What You Bring On Home 7”. For anyone that’s never heard these guys before, their genre bending music and tone is something a fan of Amphetamine Reptile Records would embrace and they laid it all on the line with this being the final stop of their weekend Southland tour.
When the feedback died down from the San Francisco trio, San Diego classic metal revivalists Monolith graced our presence with their wall of blasting sound (literally they had the loudest set of the night) of classic metal that you would hear on from an Iron Maiden and Saxon record. Guitarists Doug Walker and John Norwood effortlessly trade off leads with fluidity and precision while new vocalist Keith McIntosh’s soaring vocals made it clear these guys aim to bring the NWOBHM sound back to those within earshot. Demonstration of their love of all things pre-90’s in the metal world as well as superb musicianship was made clear with their raucous renditions of Metallica’s “Hit The Lights” and Iron Maiden’s “Purgatory.”
The patio clears a bit more as people enter The Complex to catch the final band of the night and one of the new forces in the Los Angeles metal scene, Ironaut. These guys have been around for short while but with a tone as mammoth and thick as guitarist Patrick McHugh’s dreadlocks look from a distance, they successfully demonstrated why they are an in demand band and stay extremely active with various bookings across California. Seeing these guys open for The Obsessed and Karma To Burn a few months back jogged the head on how good these three are, solid performance and very supportive bunch of guys as they gave kudos to all the bands, attendees and Dan for organizing the gathering. Ironaut front man Erick Kluiber also dropped the news that their debut record will be soon on the way with studio time booked. Rejoice Ironuts worldwide!