AIDS Wolf Obliterates the Distinction Between Tight and Sloppy at Churchill's Pub, November 3

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With Last, Holly Hunt, Unicorn Hard-On and The Laundry Room Squelchers

Churchill's Pub

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Better Than: Whatever else was happening last night.

Whenever some chump wants to talk shit to you about how much they hate "noise," you should maybe ask what exactly they mean. It's not all dudes turning knobs and ripping off strings off guitars. Although, a lotta that stuff rules too.

Just last night, we went to Little Haiti for a little "Churchill's music." We were greeted with stoner metal, which was followed by ethereal electronic-dance, which in turn bled into self-annihilating free rock, and only then did we finally get to actual, literal noise.

Unfortunately, Last (the one-man band) played first and we missed his set entirely. One onlooker said it sounded like she "had lived in a meat grinder all of her life."

We arrived to a full-tilt Holly Hunt. And walking toward the stage, we were immediately stopped in our tracks beneath the arched doorway that leads to Churchill's main room. We had accidentally stumbled upon the ultimate HH sweet spot. Do not be fooled by the rock trappings: this drum-and-guitar post-stoner duo transcend the trappings of the blues and everything that came after. The twosome's set-up is minimal, but Holly Hunt plays so damn loud and with so much expressive texture that you could describe the sound as straight-up maximal.

Nashville solo performer Unicorn Hard-On tempered the otherwise aggro-and-chaotic evening with her increasingly refined noise-electro-house blend. As North American noise crept ever so slightly toward the present-day Komische/synth/dance explosion, Unicorn Hard-On was at the front of the pack, and following her transition from dance-y noise to abrasive electro (complete with druggy, delayed Banshee shrieks that put witch house theatrics to shame) is a microcosm of the large junk/DIY/no genre scene that spawned her.

AIDS Wolf opened its set with some palette-cleansing table noise...

...and then the band quickly began projectile vomiting sonic splatter in every direction, like a ferociously broken indoor sprinkler system possessed by the dark spirit of drugs-and-art post-non-rock.

In an earlier blog, we touched upon the trio's resemblance to hometown heroes Harry Pussy, and last night's performance also called to mind guitar-and-drum oriented freaks like Arab On Radar and Lightning Bolt. Pairing the stomach-turning tone of the former with the speed-metal franticness of the latter, AIDS Wolf charged through a manic set that constantly sounded like it was a rock band literally falling apart, limb from limb, until, out of nowhere, everything would sync back into fairly identifiable music. Was this the tightest or sloppiest band we have ever seen? Maybe both.

The Laundry Room Squelchers closed the evening with a torturous noise wall featuring solo performer Sharlyn Evertsz on vocals, 90s Teen and hahahelp!'s Rick Diaz on some kind of warped guitar-looking instrument, Unicorn Hard-On on radio, and, of course, ringleader Rat Bastard on guitar and vocals.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: We have a high threshold for noise. We also never gave AIDS Wolf a chance because of the name. (Generally, shock tag + the most overused animal band name trend = suck.) We also avoided the group out of reactionary resistance to the group's crossover indie hype. But last night, the Wolf shredded so hard that we don't give a fuck what the band's called or who's blogging about it. That shit was fire.

The Crowd: Noise heads and Churchill's regulars.

Overheard In The Crowd: After Holly Hunt we couldn't hear shit all night.

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