Yesterday I lamented the loss of one of my favorite dining haunts in NYC and since there was a kick ass music venue downstairs I felt that it would be wise to make sure our readers knew it was gone as well. The restaurant was called Acme Restaurant and below it was the Ace Of Clubs. The venue used to be called Under Acme and I admit that I didn’t know when they changed the name. Whatever the case may be, it is closed and if I read correctly it will not be coming back whenever what becomes of the restaurant space above reconfigures itself under the new ownership. That sucks. I always hate when a cool place that I like to eat at closes up shop but when there is a valuable music space along with this happening it just makes it all the more worse. Continue reading Turn The Lights & PA System Off; Ace Of Clubs Has Closed >:(→
Artist: Gwynbleidd Venue: Ace Of Clubs (New York, NY) Opener: n/a Date: 9/19/2009 Label: Burning Curran Music
My day was already off to a good start as earlier this evening I had attended an appearance of Chris Caffery from Savatage and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra who had done an almost acoustic gig over at the Flushing Queens Library Theatre. The show was my second in the span of almost one day and as luck would have it, on the way home based on the timing of Chris’ gig, I would be able to hit the Ace Of Clubs for a set of music delivered by Gwynbleidd. The name might be new to some of you but I have to admit that I have been nothing less than impressed with what I have heard from them since they sent me their EP “Amaranthine” a couple of years ago. Continue reading Gwynbleidd @ Ace Of Clubs (9/19/2009)→
Moth Eater is a new Doom Metal band that’s comprised of some cool dudes and former members of the bands Dirty Rig, Scar Culture and Year Of Confession. New to the scene in name alone, these guys were making their debut at the Ace Of Clubs on a very dismal night. To learn more and see photos from the debut just click the logo to be taken to our item on the main PiercingMetal.com site.
Artist: Moth Eater Venue: Ace Of Clubs Opener: unknown Date: 6/5/2009 Label: Independent Artist
It might sound a bit cliché but it truly was a dark and stormy night here in New York City as the weekend began and to be honest it was not fun to be trekking anywhere for anything in this weather. It was a rain that seemed to be enjoying the fact that it was dumping on everyone as they sought some peace or recharging activities now that the work week had finally ended. My view was that the cure for such a dismal night might best be found in an ice cold beer and a whoop ass dose of Doom Metal as served up by the newly formed band Moth Eater. The band was actually performing their very first gig at The Ace Of Clubs this evening and this is a cool club to catch a band so we headed down to the space on Great Jones Street and arrived just prior to their hitting the stage. Here is how the night went down.
Moth Eater: The guys that make up Moth Eater are already known to the Metal music community from their previous lives in their other bands. For starters, we have both Steve “Buckshot” Seabury and Dave Ardolina formerly the bassist and drummer of Hard Rock outfit Dirty Rig. That was the band once fronted by Warrior Soul’s Kory Clarke before they disbanded. Next up we have the vocals of John Alaia who was a member of the Death Metal meets Hardcore band Year Of Confession and closing out the lineup is guitarist John Conley of Scar Culture. This was also a Death Metal meets Hardcore band and they were signed to Century Media Records. The room was reasonably crowded and I think in total it fits about one hundred people and while I didn’t count each and every head there seemed to be at least half of this number in place for the guys. Alaia introduced the band and informed us that they had been not doing much for a number of months so to go easy on them. Needless to say they hit the stage with a solid level of Doom Metal force and for a new group did come off as pretty tight. This genre is all about locking into the groove and I had to say that the guys were winning the crowd over. There was head banging from the first note and a lot of joking from them since the crowd was many friends and well wishers. Buckshot would say how out of shape he was and then kick back a Budweiser beer. Don’t worry Steve, those hot stage lights will trim you up again I am sure.
I had never seen Conley’s band nor him before tonight and was enjoying his level of technical ability as he crunched out each super heavy riff. Given their previously working together as a rhythm section, both Ardolina and Seabury are pretty in sync with one another and that’s something that is going to help the band work out material going forward. Alaia sings with a very growling register and there are a lot of similarities in his vocal style to when bands like Lamb Of God’s Randy does his higher pitched growl. Since this stuff is Doom and a lot of the classic stuff used clean vocals, I admit that I would like to see John give this style a try. It will be the perfect combination of the Old School under the guidance of the New School. The set was a short one tonight since there was still another band but everyone was playing their hearts out and most importantly, enjoying themselves as they did it. When John A. spoke about finding the band online, he joked that their My Space was labeled as such because they are one more number evil than the devil. They would play all originals and one cover from the band Four Horsemen this evening and while there was no recorded music available for the fans that was to be expected given this was their first gig. They did have an extremely limited edition t-shirt up for sale and there were only 50 of these made. A new design will follow when they run out so of you snoozed you most certainly would lose for this one if you chose to wait. After the band was done they packed up and chilled out with the friends who were in the room. One such fan happened to be the new vocal power of Anthrax, Dan Nelson. He was also very cordial and happy to meet anyone who felt like talking to him. I think the band has some promise for the Doom Metal genre and its fans. Of course like anything new it requires work, and I am confident that the band will be putting their all into making this new project work. It’s rather different from all of their previous musical incarnations but if you are a fan of crushing and grooving riffs and drums then Moth Eater is a recommended way to spend some of your time so check them out.
The actual closing band tonight would Gods Green Earth who I had never heard of before this evening, but much like the Saints of Pain who I caught about a year ago at this same club, would have Go-Go Dancers on the stage with them doing their thing while they played. This was not a headlining situation because in the fashion that the club sets up the shows, each band gets their slot and often leaves with their audience following them. Of course given the night, there was some cross-pollination of audiences for each of these final two acts. In my opinion the Gods Green Earth stuff was ok and I liked the heaviness they were delivering, but I had to admit that I was enjoying the dancing girls Pariah and Abby a whole lot more. They were gorgeous. Maybe Moth Eater can use their talents the next time around. Some food for thought if the band is reading this article. These days anything that gets a band attention should be investigated.
2. The Aftermath
3. Our Time
4. When Bruises Leave Scars
5. Rocking is Ma’ Business (Four Horsemen cover)
6. In the Mirror
I caught the guys in Graveyard BBQ not too long ago when they hit town for a show at Arlene’s Grocery. Tonight they would be a part of a mega show down at Ace Of Clubs (which is below a restaurant I always find time to visit for brews and great Cajun food). Readers who want to see more can scroll past the logo.
Artist: Graveyard BBQ Venue: Ace Of Clubs (New York, NY) Opener: n/a Date: 7/25/2008 Label: Dirtcore Records
The Graveyard BBQ returned to NYC in the middle of the summer heat wave that was hitting us and based on my previous experience with the group I knew that the already warm evening was going to get a whole lot hotter. Having caught the band very recently and written up some comments when they last rolled into town from way down South (Waltham Massachusetts), I knew what to expect from them and was looking forward to seeing them in a different venue setting. The last time was at Arlene’s Grocery, a place I rather like, but tonight would be The Ace Of Clubs which is a downstairs club from one of my favorite Cajun restaurants “Acme”. I hit the upstairs bar for a cold pint of the house brew and then went down into the basement club to get ready to Rock and was happy to report that the BBQ Nation was in full force once again. The guys don’t just get onstage and jam and instead choose to decorate the stage with headstones and banners that leave you remembering who you just saw. For me this is a welcome change to say the least and brings a better visual for the performance. When we last heard from The BBQ, they had come to NYC to do some showcasing for labels and management folks and according to those in the know they had done well in their eyes and were getting additional glances on this second go round. They were the second of five bands and when I arrived I had found out that this was actually the CD release gig for the headlining band Hung, but more on them later. The BBQ came out on fire and this is one thing that appeals to me most about their dedication. They are out to give you a good time and they also seem to be having a good time themselves. Continue reading Graveyard BBQ @ Ace Of Clubs (7/25/2008)→
Artist: Warrior Soul Venue: Ace Of Clubs (New York, NY) Opener: The Stoned Date: 5/31/2008 Label: Independent Artist
While they came into existence as the eighties were closing their doors it was during the early part of the nineties that Warrior Soul really came into prominence. To the world at large they were a New York City based band that was doing things a little differently from their competition and while the Grunge Rock scene was brewing and delivering the discontentment of youth to the people, Kory Clarke and Warrior Soul were preaching socio-political cognizance in their brand of Metal meets Punk. It was unique for its time as few other bands dared to brave rants against The System and since the words made sense they sparked the listener into levels of awareness. Clarke was not far from the soapbox preacher that one ran into on the corner of a typical street and with the band he would sing against injustices and also deliver down and dirty tales of life on New York’s Lower East Side. They released five albums in total but never seemed to build up more than the devout cult status and eventually disbanded. I admit that I lost track of Clarke for a few years and it wasn’t until his association with the New York Hard Rock band Dirty Rig that I caught him in performance again. He would record the bands “Rock Did It” album and they would gig extensively, but in early 2007 he would rebuild and tour with friends under the Warrior Soul brand and eventually move on from the Dirty Rig project. The rebuilt Warrior Soul features no original members outside of Clarke and since this gig at New York City’s Ace Of Clubs was billed as the only area appearance I knew I had to get myself down there to report on it. Here is what went down should you have heard about this and missed it for some reason.
The gig was supposed to start a lot earlier but there was another booking at this very intimate venue that is located beneath a favored restaurant on my list, so while I waited I had a couple of pints upstairs at Acme. I was surprised to meet singer Ray West at the joint and you might remember him as a member of another NYC staple act from around the same time as Warrior Soul, the one and only Spread Eagle. These days Ray is working in a band called Hostel Inc. and I am sure that we will catch them soon. Kory was mingling upstairs as well but headed down into the club to play drums with the guys in The Stoned. I wouldn’t catch this part of the evening’s fun as I was purely in Soul mode and went down into the depths to see them when they were set to perform. As I got my spot secured I noticed that about another 100 people or so had also showed up for this midnight matinee of pure NYC rock. That’s a great amount given the space of The Ace Of Clubs, as it is not a huge club to begin with. The downside would be the almost intolerable heat inside the club and very limited AC. We were in the beginning of the Summer weather outside so that was not much more a break but once the band hit the stage we quickly forgot about how hot it was since the heat of Rock and Roll coming off the stage was far more intense. The band was definitely tight at the material and apparently knew the stuff well enough to come off like a clone of the original players and when Clarke arrived onstage it was like a long absent hero had returned to them.
The set tonight was a long one and featured a number of Warrior Soul classic tunes from across the bands back catalog. They did more from the first album “Last Decade, Dead Century” which was fine by me as I loved that release and still find myself playing it so many years after it was first released. I had to give the guys credit for bringing it on with the music tonight as I detected no flaws in any of it. The combined guitar work of Johnny H. and Rille Lundell worked fantastic together and made the sound all the more full. Those new fans to the band might not recall that older Warrior Soul material featured only one guitarist. I had to say that Clarke’s voice has held up pretty well over the years and still maintained that gravelly tone that made him unique in the first place. He was also rather energetic on the stage this evening and if you have never seen this club before you should know that the stage of the Ace Of Clubs is rather close to the audience level of eye view and there is no barrier between the fans and the band so you are able to be right in the face of your admirers. Depending on the band this is not always a good thing but tonight it would be one of the positives. During the set Kory would prompt the crowd to sing along with him and he would frequently hold the microphone over their heads to make them scream even louder. Everyone in the club complied without argument and that made for a very memorable night. They did leave out “The Loser’s” which disappointed me just a little because it was one of the most powerful numbers in the bands repertoire. They did treat us to one new tune which was “Bad News (Rock n Roll Boyfriend) and for a new song it really kept the traditional sound and feel of the band that was back in the day.
One might question the relevance of Clarke touring with a Warrior Soul made up of completely new members but before criticizing we should first remember that Peter Steele currently tours with a rebuilt Carnivore while Axl Rose does the same thing with his new brand of Guns ‘N Roses. This is just one of the ways that this is done nowadays and needs to be accepted by fans of the songs or simply bypassed by those who cannot comprehend such a practice. At least they sounded good and did the material justice and since I supported them so long ago I can safely say that I would see them do this again when the opportunity arose. As mentioned earlier, the full Warrior Soul back catalog of albums were remastered back in 2006 by Escapi Music and they can be purchased via many online retailers. Clarke has been quoted as saying this lineup will record new material and continue to tour and they had also recently released a live album called “Live In London” which was available at the show for those who wanted a copy. He has also been named as the new lead singer for the legendary Doom Metal outfit Trouble replacing Eric Wagner. At the time of this writing there were no area gigs or recorded music from this collaboration but I am sure that it will be interesting. Clearly tonight’s gig was a great beginning to a Summer that was loaded with amazing shows.
Band Members: Kory Clarke (vocals), Johnny H (guitar), Rille Lundell (guitar), Bobby “Stevo” Stephenson (drums), and Janne Jarvis (bass).
3. Love Destruction
4. I See The Ruins
5. Lets Get Wasted
6. The Drug
8. We Cry Out
9. Republican Party
10. Charlie’s Out Of Prison
12. Bad News (Rock n Roll Boyfriend)
13. Shock Um Down
14. Wasteland – finale