Leather Jacuzzi, DOXX, Fucking Machines and Power of Fear at The Dom

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Ev has synesthesia, and they incorporate their sensory experiences into music reviews. Synesthesia is a condition in which the brain links a person’s senses together in a rare manner, prompting unusual sensory responses to stimuli. People with synesthesia, for example, might see a certain color in response to a certain letter of the alphabet. Those who experience synesthesia “hear colors, feel sounds, and taste shapes” in a remarkably consistent fashion.


Taken over by punks, The Dominion Tavern hosted a show fueled by love and unmatchable energy. Electrifying, sweaty, and energetic, the night wasn’t one to be forgotten.

With a delayed start, Power of Fear captured the audience’s attention with their primal and carnivorous energy during their first ever show. Messy and loud beyond belief, they were a conundrum of sounds, riffs, and violent drumbeats.

The guitar playing was violent and fervent; it painted a scene of deep and agitated reds. Rapid and fiery, the guitar chugged with raw force. Reminiscent of garage punk with its own flavourful twist, it brought on a sense of nostalgia for the earlier days of the genre.  Heavy, it howled through the soundscape, and while it was dirty, it resonated wildly.

The bass was dry but growled, bursting past other sounds created. It rumbled deeply and painted the room burnt oranges and lovely terracotta hues. Loud and forceful, it drove through everything else and founded itself as the backing structure to the songs while maintaining a primary role. It rang in your chest and shook everything in the vicinity. The way it was played made the bass sound full and round and it tied everything together with a bow.

The vocals were deep and unclean. Lyrics screamed into the microphone with a brutality that seemed sure to tear up one’s vocal chords. It was ragged and as rough as everything around it. Shouted into the mic without a second of mercy, the lyrics fell hard upon the crowd and maintained control despite the wild air that the band gave off.

The drumming fell nothing short of frigid, tainting everything around it with violent splashes of ice blue that bubbled through the reds cast by the guitars. Hollow and tight, each beat fell precisely but sounded resonant while remaining flat and boney. It allowed room for a rage to seep through but more so it served to accentuate the emotion behind each instrument. It was essential and fostered its own anger.

The Fucking Machines rocking out at The Dom in Ottawa, ON.

Fucking Machines played shortly after, and much like the last time I saw them, they ripped the stage apart. Weighted with aggression, the band put on an unforgettable show. Drawing from old school and kicking it new school, the band knew how to deliver. Think Reagan Youth raising from the dead only to collaborate with Black Flag.

The solo work was the topmost layer and dominated the songs when it would emerge from the murky power chords and rapid pick slides. Gain maxed out, volume up to an 11, and distorted to hell, the guitar work held nothing back. It was clear that heart and passion seeped into the riffs, the guitar drenched the room in irritated reds.

The bass burst through from underneath layered guitar work. Buried but booming, there was no subtlety coming from the bass. It ripped across the sonic environment and came out as a murky mass. Tight and saturated, the blitz of the bass matched the ruggedness of the vocals. Accentuated by guitar solos, the bass tied all the sound together.

The drumming was shallow but with resonance. It boomed and made itself known through loud statements and offbeats. Rolling in and out of fills, the drummer aided in accentuating the screams that would follow. An onslaught of crashing from the symbals assaulted the ears of those in the vicinity all while leaving you wanting more.

Screams far from typical, the vocals were layered. They provided contrast to the deep rumbling of the guitar and bass. Creating emphasis on certain lines that were screamed, the layered vocals provided accentuation to the lyrics. Coming at the crowd from all angles – or so it seemed – the screaming was higher in tone and added a refreshing feeling to the songs.

DOXX ripping at The Dom in Ottawa, ON.

Soon after, DOXX took to the stage. With each song, they brought a new ferocity. DOXX get bodies moving in ways unbeknownst to the nature of punk. Provocative, aggressive,  sporadic, and chaotic, DOXX did not let down.

Distorted and overdriven, the guitar ripped through the air. The pace skillfully shifted between a muddy and slow one to a rapid and aggravated ferocity. Virtually flawless, the transitions felt just as they belonged. Balanced out with the drumming, the hostility brought out the headbanging and the electric energy. Warm and earthy, each chord rang through, crashing into the next.

Delivered with a careless and I-don’t-give-a-fuck vibe, were the vocals. While some parts Sof dragged out with an iconic eye roll, other lyrics were belted out with the fury of a Roman army. Exaggerated enunciation and actions only added to the performance, solidifying the political messages hidden in the screaming. Relentlessly delivered and literally in your face, the lyrics balanced between growls and strained singing.

The drumming was harsh and cold, quick in succession and booming. Alongside the guitar, the drumming rocked the stage and accentuated the bass. The snare was – along with the crash and ride cymbals – most prominent. The aggressiveness of each fallen beat managed to capture the relentless emotions.

Resonant, deep, and warm, the bass provided support. Seemingly playing a game of cat and mouse with the guitar while backing it, the two complemented each other. A fuzzy and golden distortion added to the round sound of the bass, yet it still maintained its belligerence. It would split away and come back in and out of unison with what the guitar progressions were. Both pulled your ear in.

Leather Jacuzzi at The Dom in Ottawa, ON.

Headlining from Calgary, Alberta were Leather Jacuzzi. Easy on the ears punk full of well-timed noise and soul, they provided something that was easy to headbang and dance to. Their playing was melodic while the pace remained quick and rhythmic.

Soft and raw vocals dominated and intertwined themselves through muted strumming and intricate solos. Loud and proud, lively and tireless, the band did not fail to entertain and get the crowd on their feet. Some growls would occasionally find themselves drawn out, finding just the right moments to emphasize. The vocal technique shifted between ragged and alto to cleaner and more soprano. They tainted the air shades of indigo and deep magenta.

The guitar was distorted and upbeat, faded pinks and muted purples emanating from the guitar work. Bent every so often, the solos were played lower on the neck, producing higher pitched notes. They radiated a certain amount of wildness that the live performance only managed to enhance. Muted, the chords fell rapidly in succession to one another. Let loose during the choruses, the chord progressions unleashed a creative chaos.

The bass solidified the chords and added depth and dimension. Almost as a backbone but standing solidly on its own, the bass rumbled and sprang forth through the raging guitar work. Having painted the backdrop maroon, it bubbled and burst through the rest of the colour. Full and fat, the bass added completeness to each song.

The drumming was cold, rigged, and staccato. Bursts of a cold blue found themselves poured into and across the scene. Crashing and shallow, the drumming was hard to ignore yet easy to follow. The toms provided a contrast to the cold and shallow cymbals, having felt full with every beat.

If ever given the chance, go see these bands, some you may not have the chance to see for a while, while others are locals guaranteed to provide you with a good time.

 

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