Last Night: Black Light Burns at Culture Room

Categories: Concert Review

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Black Light Burns & Horse the Band
May 23, 2007
Culture Room
Better Than:
Nintendo music
You should always be wary of any band that promotes one member with the tagline "...formerly of the band...” as some type of attraction. It's a bit like advertising a party with "a celebrity has been invited to attend." Especially if you don't really sound like the band you're name-dropping anyway. So Black Light Burns, "fronted by former Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland" doesn't sound or look like his former incarnation. Black Light Burns are gothic industrial in the vein of Nine Inch Nails. For all the red & white face paint and black body chalk that makes it looks like he just climbed out of a coal chamber, Black Light Burns doesn't sound as bad as their clashing collage of visuals makes them look. Borland has surrounded himself with talent. Guitarist Nick Annis, bassist Sean Fetterman, and the drummer Marshall Kilpatric make good wing men for Borland to perform between. Annis does great ax work, but looks restrained in a band put together to feature someone else. Borland is a much better guitarist than singer. His voice isn't bad, but it's not as interesting as his fret work on the guitar, which are only present in half the songs. I'd rather hear an hour and a half of Black Light Burn's instrumentals, than listen to Borland's looping lyrics in the mix. If only he spent more time firing off guitar chords than spitting bottled water.

Now on to the openers: If you think Andrew W. K. needs to be shot, save 5 bullets for Horse the Band. This synth-metal group from LA, sounds like they were produced by math-rock scientists. You'd have to see Horse the Band in person to really appreciate how bad the band is as a whole, but I suggest you not see them. The lead screamer, Nathan "General Tso Zee Zod," has a good voice for full volume metal. The drummer Chris has some powerful strikes but the biggest talent is "Dash" on 6 string bass who blew away Culture Room with his solos. Unfortunately, all that power of folded metal is ruined by the dainty, synthetic keyboards of "Lord Gold" Erik playing over the "hyper-intelligent lover" guitar of David Isen. For you "math rockers" who want a programmer in your band, here's a formula for you to remember:

'{if $keyboard_vol > $guitar_vol | move .song /trash}'

Wait, there are visuals. A herd of toy animals sits on the stage; a squirrel and a rabbit, a rubber duck on an amp, a cat on the keyboards. Isen and "Lord Gold" are dressed in checker board Vans, pastel shirts and too-small tennis shorts to clash with the black T-shirts & blue jeans of the others. And as a backdrop, enough fake flowers to throw a tiki party. In between full volume mosh pit music, the band gave the audience plenty of time to let them know what South Florida thought by shouting comments like, "Go kill yourself!" & "Shutup and play some music!" But when the singer suggested he jump in the ocean after the show and find a shark," the crowd agreed, and with that, to their credit, while being run out of town, Horse the Band got in front of the crowd and made it look like a parade.-- Kenneth Scott


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