Show reviews: Sun O))), High on Fire, Corrosion of Conformity, Black Breath at The Fonda; King Tuff, Lovely Bad Things at The Echo

Dude! My ears are still ringing from just 10 minutes or so of Sun O))) last night. I was pretty beat after seeing Black Breath, C.O.C., and High on Fire, but just had to stay to catch at least some of the headliner’s set. And now my ears and brain are paying the price. But first things first. I finally got to see King Tuff last week.

La Mirada’s Lovely Bad Things opened and they were a lot of fun. The tweaked and catchy garage rockers traded instruments and vocals, Pixies-style, and was shockingly polished in every configuration. This is why you should try to see openers (even though I missed the first band).

I can’t believe it took me this long to see King Tuff. The S/T cassette has been in the van pretty much all year, and I really wanted to hear the ultra catchy, fuzzy, and beautiful songs live. Surprise–they totally shred in concert. Even the more groovy and pretty songs are totally rifftastic onstage. Go see them and try not to have fun. It isn’t possible.

Which brings us to last night’s Power of the Riff show at the Fonda. I got there just in time to grab a barricade spot for Black Breath. You might recall that I was blown away by the best metal band in the world at the Down and Out Bar show a couple of months ago. The hesh fest from Seattle was just as rad on a big stage, easily filling the space with the heaviest of blast beats, most brutal riffs, kick-ass death metal vocals, and no-holds barred head banging.

Corrosion of Conformity has been around forever, and these days the pioneering crossover band seems more stony than thrashy. But the trio still has its metal chops, bad looks, and rad old songs like “Mad World” and “Holier.” They looked like they were having a lot of fun and I did, too.

I haven’t seen High on Fire since the Blessed Black Wings tour or so. Since then, the kings of stoner rock have gotten more conceptual and perhaps even literary, but have never lost any of their heaviness or rage. The overarching theme to the stunning new album De Vermis Mysteriis could use Cliff’s Notes, but the live sound remains an unbeatable combination of Motörhead and Slayer. “Devilution” is still amazing. Long live the kings.

Leaving the venue at 11:30 to pick up Eloise was the right thing to do, but I had to stay to check out at least some of Sun O)))’s set. They didn’t go on until midnight when the smoke machines and speakers went into overdrive. The entire room was shaking and at first I thought I forgot to reinsert my earplugs. I didn’t have the time or patience to enjoy appreciate the pure noise, so I headed out onto Hollywood Boulevard where I could hear the tones and feedback almost as well!

Next Thursday: A show I helped put together at Alex’s Bar with my friends in It’s Casual, Bongoloidz, and Sandy Yang…