Sicfaist, Strych9hollow, Adenine, Social Slave & Fer De Lance at 2720 Cherokee
Friday, March 4th of 2011
Sicfaist’s DVD shoot show was held at 2720 Cherokee on March 4, 2011, with supporting bands Fer De Lance, Social Slave, Adenine and Strych9hollow. First up was Fer De Lance (French for “spearhead”, literally means “iron of the lance”), who is quickly becoming one of St. Louis’ newest alternative rock sweethearts with music that is rich with science fiction undertones. [Earlier this year, St Louis Music Press interviewer Angie Knost caught up with their lead singer Jason Cole in an interview; look for that link in the footer of this post.]
The band just shot their first music video for “Deceiver” off of their new album ‘2217‘. It was filmed at Utopia Studios in St. Louis and was produced by Matthew Sawicki at Suburban Pro Studios in Florissant, MO. Watch the video by visiting their official website [link also located at the bottom of this review.] The cover art for the new CD was provided by artist Plastic, who was also in attendance and is featured in the picture below this paragraph. He is a freelance artist and illustrator to name a couple of traits of his, amongst the other talents he possesses. [You can find his website below this post also.]
The show was a mix of Fer De Lance’s new-release favorites along with a few of their newest songs that you can only see live currently.
Set list for Fer De Lance:
Cerebral Intercourse – New song not on ‘2217′
The Static Intercept – Sudden head-bobbing intro seduces the listener to stay for it’s powerful melody that comes, repeat the latter, bridge highlights a piano layer with an “Incubus” style of music that returns to it’s predecessor. Intense. Dynamic.
Something They’re Not Telling Us – New song not on ‘2217′
Stellar Command – New song not on ‘2217′
Deceiver - (Not gonna describe it, watch it yourself via their website!)
Reasons For Traffic – Drums fill it’s intro, followed by a nice syncopation between drums & guitar, in comes vocals w/ bass. This one just sweeps from one part to the next fluently.
Mission: Supernova – This one is sort of an oxymoron. It makes the listener feel at home, all the while the lyrics state,”This is the final countdown, the end begins and we will never show that we are never coming home.” Nice harmonies, too.
Left For Dead – Heaviest track off the disk that they performed, it will leave you wanting more.
Social Slave originally started as a side project at the end of 2005. The group consisted of members from notable acts such as Tryptophane and Vocal.Eyes. The vocalist, Bill Friese, is highlighted in the picture above. He and Vince, one of the two guitar players, were both in Tryptophane. Chad Meinders, also shown in the picture above, was the drummer from Vocal.Eyes previously and did a shorter stint with my band, Ockum’s Razor in the year after Vocal.Eyes’ departure from the scene. (Halfway through the set, he flipped his drumstick so high, he literally had to get up off of his drum seat and reach on his tippy-toes to catch it. Then, just before he sat back down, he seamlessly hit the next beat. Then he smiled and continued on.) Also from the group, shown in more of the pictures below, is guitar player and producer Mike Ryan. In addition to their bass player, Tim, they were the original lineup that stood for two albums, after which followed a drum replacement by Lye’s first drummer, and shortly thereafter another by Mike Frank. It was after this point that the band disbanded completely in 2009, and they went their different ways…until this night! They saw it only fitting to chronicle their legacy on this occasion, one last time, with the original lineup.
On the bill’s flyer, there is a group called The Strangers; that was them, actually. They tried to keep it a secret, but somehow the cat got out of the bag; the nostalgia just could not be contained. Rightfully so, watching this group certainly brought back many memories. I am sure it did for many of those in attendance, too. Make sure to “like” their fan page on Facebook for posterities’ sake, and relive the one and only experience of ‘Social Slave’ via their MySpace link below this post.
The name ‘Social Slave’ was taken out of a line of one of Tryptophane’s songs, excerpted from the lyrics: ”You’re just a social slave, to be bought and sold”. Here’s their setlist, along with some memorable quotes from the songs:
Naked Eye “That’s your smartest choice.” (From their first, self-titled, full-length release.)
Moth Balls “Like a moth to a flame, I’m a slave to this game.” (From 2007’s ‘Home Of The Slave’.)
Shattered – (From 2007’s Home Of The Slave’.)
Hypnotic “Going blind, never felt so right…” (From 2007’s ‘Home Of The Slave’.)
Miracle “How long can you live for a miracle?” (From 2007’s ‘Home Of The Slave’.)
Framed “Your useless frame of mind was such a waste of time.” (From 2007’s ‘Home Of The Slave’.)
Plastic Surgery (From 2007’s ‘Home Of The Slave’.)
Ms. Construed (From their first, self-titled, full-length release.)
Social Slave played has played in front of crowds ranging from 20 to 22,000 people over four years and released two full-length efforts. The band’s relevance still resonates today. Even though the days have come and gone where no one group dominates at a time, a young band’s aspiration is to achieve the status that this group has attained. Before the last song, their vocalist, on the behalf of the group, thanked all the loyal fans and bands that they were fortunate to spend time with and share the stage with. Many familiar faces were in attendance and one couldn’t help to notice, in the moment, that this performance would be etched in each members mind forever.
Adenine comes from Chicago, Illinois, and is a five-piece, progressive rock band that is influenced by acts such as COG, Karnivool, A Perfect Circle, Chevelle, Sunny Day Real Estate, Jane’s Addiction, Radiohead and Porcupine Tree. The name “Adenine” represents a biochemistry component found in DNA. They have mainly been recognized for their performances in the Chicago area, but are starting to branch out.
Their set list:
Looking (Through) Windows – (Stream this song on facebook.)
Every Good Deed
Adapting To A Bipedal Life
It’s A Matter Of Civility – (Stream this song on facebook.)
The Threat Of Physical Violence
Conditions Of Existance – (Stream this song on facebook.)
What I found to be most enjoyable about Adenine was the poly-rhythms that the guitar players present along with the dynamics of the rhythm section. They compliment each other in such a way that allows the vocalist to shine. I spoke briefly with their vocalist, Eddie Scatchell. He mentioned that they are working on their new website that will be up shortly, and are adding to their main social networks. With the acquisition of a second guitarist, it is my belief that Adenine has found itself firmly placed on a foundation that it has sought to stand upon for sometime. As an artist, when you achieve that level, it makes you feel like the opportunities are now endless to create with. Then all you have to do is produce that visualized-sound that the artist’s pallet provides. It is obvious that they have communicated to each other about what they want to sound like, as well. I’m glad they have found the extra member they have been searching for, and that I also had the opportunity to see them live. I’m a new fan.
Strych9hollow is a five-piece metal outfit with a bit of punk influence. The band continues to work hard. After their inception in 2006, they found a second guitar player, then began performing shows without a bass player until achieving their full lineup in 2007. In 2008, two of their members left the group. Of course, this poses a problem, but they dealt with it and since they were out in the scene actively, they found another bass player and picked back up with their live shows without a second guitar player. Now they have also added on another guitar player and are playing in the St. Louis area along with performing out of town shows. (Dude, this story seems so familiar to me.) If you enjoy Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, Deftones, Chevelle, Atreyu and As I Lay Dying, you may also enjoy Strych9hollow. They performed the following songs at 2720, and some are from their debut release ‘Dying For A Dream’:
Vital Illusion – Not on debut release.
Ruins – Not on debut release.
Art Of Betrayal – Title track from ‘Dying For A Dream’.
Beautiful Angst – Track two from ‘Dying For A Dream’.
Schizophrenia – Track three from ‘Dying For A Dream’.
Death Vs. The Escape Artist – Track nine from ‘Dying For A Dream’.
Day 1824 – Not on debut release.
Relentless Regret – Not on debut release.
Strych9hollow performed a set of both new songs and favorites from their first recording. The live show is intense. First, you have the front-man Wit Kolo; the second vocals come from their guitarist Lloyd Schueler whom provides some melody, along with their third set of pipes and bassist Sam Crafton. He is rounded out by drummer Joey Nichols. The highlight, for me, is watching guitar player Jackie Bergjans. Three-sixty degree head-banging while shredding on the electric guitar, she goes from one side of the stage to
the other. I also find that the guitar player Lloyd adds some nice touches to their existing vocal arrangement. The front-man Wit is intense. Their next show will be at Fubar (an all-ages venue) on Saturday, March 19th.
And now… the moment you have all been waiting for…what has this article become? Sicfaist is heading you down a road unknown. Beware! Prepare for this experience and put on a brave “faist” as we embark on it together. Alright… I’m getting ahead of myself…
The music of Sicfaist provides the listener with the service of giving you a progressive, fusion-based approach to alternative metal that is intended to be a journey, allowing you some sense of relief and expression. Last year, the group released a three-song effort entitled What Have We Become. It features the songs “Starship Cycle Junkies”, “Pair O’ Dice Lost” and “Oblivination”. The video for ‘Oblivination’ can be found below. It was filmed by St Luniverse Video and edited by themselves. As one can see from watching the video, the live production is well-crafted. The music was recorded, mixed and mastered by Mike Ryan and edited in. It took place at the now “late” and beloved venue, “The Library”.
Sicfaist has been getting themselves some attention with the video and release of their first EP, all the while performing strategic shows and taking a weekend out to go play for those in another state when the opportunity arises. Behind the scenes, they have been recording and adding to their live production’s resources, to provide you with added entertainment value. If you visit their website, which I hope you will, you will see that they have a new track streaming entitled,”Nashville”. I am thinking this might have been
inspired by their recent expedition to Tennessee? Seriously, they just played there recently.
So, in conclusion, let me sum up my thoughts on the show. Eric played his guitar confidently and with a seemingly effortless approach. Darren, he is neat to watch. Long, black dreads, flail when he bobs his head, all while holding that big, six-string bass of his, showing us his passion for dissonant chords. His backing vocals add depth to the melody of the music and show us the value of a one-two punch when he doubles alongside of Bill. Then there is Ken; he executes some particularly interesting changes and time-signatures. He’s the epitome of focus, hunched over, visualizing his next move. His set provides him with lots to offer the listener and he utilizes it well. Bill maintained his strong vocal presence throughout the set, having already sung on eight songs earlier in the night.
Some may not be aware of this, but before Bill was in the group, Sicfaist had a different frontman by the nickname “Gooch” who went on to try something else. I know that they wrote all new music and worked closely with Bill afterwards to rebuild the platform that the group could stand on. I am glad to see they stuck with it and have come full-cirle.
The set-list by Sicfaist on the night of their DVD shoot is as follows:
Intro – Eric enters stage playing, then Darren, followed by Ken, then Bill into their first song of the night.
Road Unknown – New song, coming soon!
Love Poison #9 – New song, coming soon!
Real Lies – New song, coming soon!
Oblivination – Watch the video above, available for purchase on website.
Nashville – Now streaming on their website below this post.
Pair O’ Dice Lost – Stream it on website, available for purchase on website.
Speed Of Silence – Stream it on website, available for purchase on website.
*Visit the following links, listed in the order they were referenced in the article:
(Venue that hosted the event.)
(Fer De Lance interview by Angie Knost.)
(Artist Plastic’s website for more on him.)
(Watch the video for ‘Deceiver’.)
(Like this page for posterity.)
(Relive the experience.)
(Show them that St. Louis is the bomb.)
(Become a fan on facebook, see their MySpace for more info. too.)
(Visit their website, join the fan list, support this artist.)
*Shout to Pops from Third Ear Productions for allowing me to review the show.
Thanks to Joe Pro from Arch City Video for providing some extra snapshots.
Article by Christopher Davis
Vocalist of Ockums Razor