8 Foot Sativa + Tainted + Mirikachinist + Osmium – 22/02/13 – Refuel, Dunedin

These blog posts are getting further and further apart, aren’t they? That’s nearly a year between gigs, and I don’t even have newborn infants to stop me leaving the house. I am quite busy renovating the house, but that wouldn’t stop me going to gigs.

No, the reason that I haven’t been to any gigs is simply, THERE AREN’T ANY GIGS. Or at least, there aren’t any gigs that I want to go to. I don’t even really want to go and see bands like 8 Foot Sativa, to be brutally honest. Not really really. I wouldn’t if I were somewhere where I could pick and choose. But I do go because there is precious little else in Dunedin that even vaguely fits my listening profile, current or past. It’s an opportunity for a good cheap piss up with friends as much as it is a chance to see a decent band or two…

8 Foot Sativa, Refuel
Refuel

The last gig I went to was Sinate, an 8ft offshoot, and at least one of tonight’s support acts was going to be the same, so I could just plagiarise the review for that gig and have done with it. Who’s going to know? I don’t even really know enough about death metal to be able to write a convincing blog post about the relative merits of 8 Foot Sativa versus Sinate.

I do remember really liking Osmium, tonight’s first act, when I saw them last year. More than Sinate in fact. So, I was a leetle peessed that Mrs ByTor invited people over for dinner, meaning I would not be able to escape down the hill until the gig had already started. Bumholes, I was quite looking forward to Invercargill’s top death metal act.

I wandered into the reasonably full ReFuel bar halfway through the second band, the curiously named ‘Mirikachinist’, a Dunedin band. Firstly, WTF people? Why would you call your band something that people can neither spell nor pronounce? Curious indeed. Anyway, like most metal bands in this part of the world, they clearly grew up listening to Pantera. The rule for metal bands in this part of the world is ‘no band may take to the stage without at least one member sporting a Pantera shirt with the sleeves cut off’. The other rule is ‘no band may leave the stage without performing at least one Pantera cover’.

I don’t know Pantera’s ‘work’ but I know enough to know I don’t like it. And I’ve seen them with Dimebag Darrel and I wasn’t even paying attention because Phil Anselmo was such a cock. Anyway, Mirikathingybobs are actually pretty good when they’re not pretending to be Pantera. They alternate between the snappy crunchy riffing of early Metallica and the heaviness of Black Sabbath, with vocals so gruff that look like they would be really painful to deliver. They were joined on stage by another be-Panterashirted hooligan for the final number, a Pantera number, judging from the crowd reaction.

Tainted are from Christchurch I am led to believe. Similar sound to Mirikafucksticks, but tighter and performed by slightly more accomplished musicians. I’m not dissing Mirikabollocks, far from it, this lot just look like they’ve been doing it a bit longer. The lead guitarist was quite the flash Harry, sporting a real (or very real looking) Jackson skinny-neck-pointy-head Dave Mustaine shredding machine. He could play it fairly well too, and had extremely fast fingers. There was quite a good interplay between him and the other lead guitarist – not quite in the league of Skeletonwitch or Smith/Murray but proficient nevertheless. The Jackson player’s solos weren’t all 100 notes per second though, there was some evidence of control, and the other attribute so often missing in this genre, restraint. Nice.

8 Foot with devil horns
8 Feet devil horns

Student gigs don’t really get going until midnight, and $5 a pint is about as cheap as you can get in this town, hence I was quite drunk by the time 8 Foot Sativa hit the stage. So, the quality and authenticity of the ramblings that follow are questionable. What I can confirm without any doubt is that 8 Foot Sativa play very fast and very loud. Like my ears are still ringing 3 days later loud. 8 Foot are a very professional bunch of musicians, really tight and well rehearsed. They are blessed with Bifur and Bofur on guitars and a cave troll on drums – the bassist I recognised from Sinate, with his poppy-outy-eyes stare and semi-permanent devil horns. The one track I actually knew (8 Foot Sativa) came and went to a good reception, this would appear to be their signature track. That’s about all I can remember folks.

I’ve decided not to put myself forward for any international journalism awards this year.

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