Artist: Tokyo Dragons
Venue: Snitch Bar (New York, NY)
Opener: Dirty Rig, Mahavatar
Label: Escapi Music
Once again it was CMJ Week in New York (that’s the College Music Journal for those unaware), and it is a week long series of panels and informative gatherings that feature some of the industries top names. In addition to the panels there are great bands allover the City with many venues holding industry showcases to offer you the listener their finest wares. It’s the week where production, management, publicist and performer all mix together as one giant entity and take over in the name of music. Another aspect of CMJ week is the parties and believe me there are a bunch of them. I did not hit any of the panels for there is really no call for me to do so and instead I try to hit some of the showcases and let you know what the scoop is. One of the cool events I was able to attend was The Escapi Music showcase and readers of the site are well aware of the kind of music that they deliver. The label is home to Black Metal stalwarts such as Dragonlord and Hank Shermann’s Force Of Evil who have killer releases on the shelves and they are also the place where you can find remasters of Warrior Soul and Trouble classics.
The scene would be the Snitch Bar and tonight three of the labels groups would be delivering sets of music for the packed room to enjoy. It began with Mahavatar, a female-fronted Ethno-centric Metal group with an excellent crunch. Singer Lizza Hassan has a voice as melodic as an angel but don’t let her fool you for there is also a dragon iside her who growls to be free as she hypnotizes you onstage. Dirty Rig would follow up and this is a band that was raised on the City streets and fueled by alcohol and Rock & Roll attitude. The band features Kory Clarke from Warrior Soul and the bass-slinging Buckshot. Both of these groups are supporting very new releases on the label and as a result the club was getting a healthy taste of this new music. Mahavatar is very good in the live sense and has a driving heaviness that is easy to enjoy in the club setting. Its not long into the riffs that you find yourself feeling the overall groove. My favorite song of the band would have to be “Cult”, as the guitar run just pleases me so much. Dirty Rig and their debut “Rock Did It” are great fun as they deliver songs like “Dogs” and “Drunk Again”. Closing out the night would be the UK’s Tokyo Dragons who deliver music ala Buckcherry and Guns ‘N Roses if you needed a comparison and being the elder resident on the label would get the longest of the sets for the night. As I watched, I realized that the club itself was not too suited for a gig for any of these bands. Since I had seen them all before and knew of their capabilities I was let down by how the room was working for them. There were numerous stage issues and uneven sounds on a continual basis but luckily none of this seemed to ruin anyone’s overall perception of the individual bands. After the sets were done some of the bands were found wandering and talking to the people in attendance. It was great to chit chat with Lizza about her group, and Buckshot is always a fun dude to talk to. Kory Clarke is one of those electric personalities whose energy does not seem to ebb even when he is off the stage. This was definitely a good time.
Escapi Music has more cool stuff in store for us which I was able to find out a little more about that night. There is some new Trouble music as well as Vanilla Fudge for you Classic Rockers. The Metal folks will soon have a Metal Church vintage DVD and some Dragonlord so set those channels on “E”, because they mean business.