Show Reviews

I’LL TAKE MY FIEND WITHOUT A FACE EVERY TIME IF HIS HANDS ARE THIS GOOD

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Two nights ago, Axl, Kip and I and Rob from Metal Injection went out to Union Pool to watch Fiend Without a Face, the rockabilly side-project of Mastodon’s Brent Hinds and Brann Dailor. As I worked my way all the way up to the second row in a crowd of less than 100 folks — packed for the cozy Union Pool — to watch the fez-clad gentlemen roar through their set of rockabilly, I remembered something I’d apparently forgotten:

Brent Hinds is an absolutely incredible guitar player with ungodly talent.

It’s weird that I forgot this fact, seeing as Mastodon’s latter-day music is really proggy and they’ve always been fairly technical (not that kind of technical) in their approach. But standing there watching Hinds’ hands effortlessly glide through modified pentatonic blues runs, complex finger-picking patterns and just straight-up balls out rawk soloing drove the point home once again — Hinds is easily one of the best guitarists in metal today.

Hinds rarely shows off his agility in Mastodon, opting instead for the riffing, finesse and for-the-song approach that band’s music requires, but hot damn, I could not take my eyes away from his hands despite the fact that the other three members of the band were quite good too. Check out the above video of “Black Grass,” filmed Christmas Day 2009 at The Earl in Atlanta. If you can’t appreciate what he’s playing and your mind isn’t suitably blown… well, then I guess you probably aren’t a guitar player and don’t know what from what.

Rob and Axl were more entertained by opening act Daikaiju, a surf-rock outfit from Alabama with mime make-up on. Daikaiju were incredibly entertaining — their mime gimmick was fun — and they were super-tight and fun to watch. A fantastic opening act, to be sure. But Fiend Without a Face, led by Hinds’ wicked hands, easily owned the show. West End Motel, with Brent Hinds on guitar as well — this time playing slower country-style jams — stood out the least of the bill’s three bands, but you really can’t complain when all three bands are as solid as these.

Download Fiend Without a Face’s self-titled record here: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=2UY6P074

-VN

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