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Serpent Throne, Ecstatic Vision, Mount Salem and Ancient Creature @ Kung Fu Necktie.

July 25, 2014

Ecstatic-VisionText and images by Chad Sims.

Tuesday at Kung Fu Necktie was the bargain of the year when it comes to psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll. There were four great bands for just five bucks and two for $3 Genesee beers (how can you beat that?!).

First up was the new Philly band Ancient Creature. They had a great sound and were really droney. This is a band that will be a joy to see develop.

Next was Mount Salem from Chicago. Usually the travelling band plays last but maybe they didn’t think people would stay out on a Tuesday. Regardless of why they played when they did this band should be headlining shows. Their sound is an epic Black Sabbath stomp with the vocals of Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane. If you are into hard psychedelic rock check these guys out.

Just as Ecstatic Vision (above) started to play, I realized that I had seen them a few months back at Johnny Brenda’s and had not been very impressed. Well, they certainly redeemed themselves in my eye because they were incredible this night. The previous show seemed to be marred by technical difficulties that really threw the band off. This show went off without a hitch and was tremendous.

Describing EV’s music is insanely difficult. They are a four piece with two drummers, a bass, player and a guitarist who loves messing with what I think is Roland Space Echo (or some other piece of vintage sound warping apparatus) and moonlighting on the melodica and whistle. It is sort of a complete freak-out but they manage to focus that into a fun energy rather than leaving the audience wondering when the next band will be on.

Finally, the last band was on and it was the instrumental monsters Serpent Throne. They are an odd band because they are so good yet they don’t seem to play all that much (at least not in the area). They may play even less as one of the members seems to be moving to Kentucky. Sorry I can’t tell you who, as the evening was getting a bit hazy by this point. Damn you two for $3 Genesee beers.

Well, if this was a send-off show, it was a good one. This band just seems to be able to balance doomy heavy Sabbathy riffs with the gallop of NWOBHM so well it hurts. Combine those riffs with the complex twin guitar leads and you have a recipe for some amazing psychedelic metal.

This was honestly one of the best shows I have been to in a while and at a totally killer price. The only downside to the evening was the between-band DJ, who was cranking some great tunes where cranking was the operative word. It seemed like half the audience went outside between sets because the volume and harshness of the sound system was not pleasant (the high hat on the records was louder than an actual drummer in the room).

Then again, if it is too loud, you are too old.

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