It was a sparse crowd at Reno’s, but those on hand were treated to a solid show from two of Dallas’ rising bands and St. Louis, Missouri’s Final Drive.

Bombing Ibiza opened the evening with their brand of post-hardcore metal. Fronted by the ever-chatty Zach Burns, who was flanked by guitarist Ryan Alger and bassist Fatima Thomas, and backed by drummer Bill Lunger, they changed tempo and volume on a dime without ever changing intensity. Their songs are hardly simple verse-chorus-verse/loud-quiet-loud efforts, rather they have a keen sense of atmosphere and dynamics. They balance the quieter-parts of songs with all-out rage without the quieter-parts sounding like an obligatory set up to a headbanger. Having taken some time off recently to work on new material, they certainly didn’t seem the least bit rusty – and the new song was killer. You can follow the band on Facebook and check out their With Us Against Us EP and Ecce LP on Bandcamp, iTunes, and Amazon.

Cropdust is a band we’ve been hearing a lot about recently. It also helps that they seem to have shows booked a few times a week. According to their Facebook bio, they are a high-concept band that has something to do with “cannibalistic pot farmers.” But, putting your feet back on the ground for minute, they’re simply a huge, doomy, sludgy beast of a band. Powered by mountainous guitar riffs and the guttural roars of their singer Fleshgrinder, Cropdust delivers a brutal live show. And even though vocalist Fleshgrinder wears a pig mask and tosses around a prosthetic head, this shouldn’t leave you with the impression they’re just gimmicky horror-metal act. They’re damn fine musicians, especially their drummer who either has three arms or three legs. Seriously, it sounds like there must be another dude back there with him. Be sure to stay dialed into their Facebook events for upcoming shows.

Final Drive took the stage a little after 11:00pm and immediately dove straight down everyone’s throats. Bringing a high energy performance to Reno’s back room, the band delivered a groove/thrash assault that was simply flawless. Having been on the road for several weeks, the band was tight and dialed into each song with a laser focus. Vocalist Jordan Gaw engaged the crowd between and during songs while Nathan Easter effortlessly coaxed intricate riffs and leads from his guitar. While they can definitely be described as aggressive, they don’t sacrifice melody for the sake of intensity. Their songs have anthemic choruses that begged for sing-alongs with simultaneous fist-pumping. Playing several tracks from their latest LP Dig Deeper and 2014’s Lifeswork, the band either confirmed the fandom of those who are already drinking the kool-aid or converted the uninitiated. My only complaint was that they didn’t play longer. The band is playing San Antonio tonight and Big Spring on Saturday before heading west to close out the month. We highly recommend you check them out.

– J. Kevin Lynch (words); DeLisa McMurray (photos)

– click to enlarge photos – 

 

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