Photos by David Rubene
Minneapolis has an awesome volunteer run radio station that broadcasts all day, every day both online and over the radio waves with the help of normal people who just have a passion for music. KFAI is the definition of DIY. With different shows throughout the day, the people with shows on KFAI are able to play whatever the hell they want and highlight the bands they want. There’s no big brother corporation to tell them what they can and can’t play. It’s seriously whatever the volunteers want to play. One of the shows on KFAI that got my attention was Roar of the Underground. They play local and regional metal and is right up my alley. I somehow connected with Bill, “The Metal Evangelist” and mastermind behind the show. We started talking and he was telling me all about his radio show and the live concerts he had coming up. Well, it’s me and as soon as he started talking about a local metal show I just couldn’t say no.
The show started with local thrashers Mutation. As soon as these guys started playing their set, I was hit by just how clean their music was. Their music was super fast at times but never felt frantic. They showed a bit of restraint throughout the set while still keeping it energetic which can’t be the easiest thing to do. I typically tune out during guitar solos of local bands. They sometimes come off as an ego booster for the local musicians where they just want the crowd to clap and cheer or something they just become so repetitive that I completely lose interest but something was different during Mutation’s guitar solos. They were musically interesting and kept my eyes glued to the stage and kept m interest throughout the set. Although I would call them thrashy, they easily bridged the gap between many sub genres in the metal scene and, like the solos, it kept the music interesting and feeling fresh.
I wouldn’t exactly call what they were playing fusion but it was definitely close. You could hear interesting patterns of notes that sounded like they were straight out of a jazz band while the drums kept a driving pressure against them. Singer Jake Spanier had a voice that seemed to juxtapose the screams from Kevin. The music was layered beautifully and was unlike anything I expected to hear at a show like this. It was awesome to see a metal band that wasn’t afraid to be a bit “not metal” at times and still get appreciation from the crowd. Redshift’s set was intriguing and interesting and, even though they also played for more than enough time for me to get a taste of what they were doing, I would love to see these guys again sooner rather than later. There’s just something about them that has me completely intrigued.