Wednesday night brought a sparse crowd to Trees in Deep Ellum. Orgy was in town for their Bury Your Army tour and brought along Motograter, Brand of Julez, and The Crowned.

The Crowned, who are native Texans, kicked off the tour package after a local opener started the night. The crowd trickled in as the curtain opened and the handful of attendees were presented with an almost calming, clean vocal performance by Marc Coronado (drums, vocals). The Zen of the intro quickly shifted to a melting pot of metal. Hardcore breakdowns and melodic riffs brought a much needed energy to the suffering atmosphere in the venue. Eric Salinas (guitars) and touring guitarist Lazar Blackfire maintained precision and picking patterns while entertaining the crowd with consistent head-banging and rapid movements. Having a drummer that can execute well-timed breakdowns while also delivering clean and raw vocals was something special to see. The band charged through the set with tracks “Kill,” “Nobody,” and “Your Promise.” Bassist Johnny Damien added low-end harmonies that helped define the breakdowns and kept the energy alive throughout the entire set. The Crowned has undeniable talent and it’s easy to see why they continue to grow as a band.

DSC_0680
Brand of Julez @ Trees, Dallas, TX. Photo by Corey Smith.

Next up was Brand of Julez. Formed in New York in 2011 by brothers Julez Zamora (guitars. vocals) and Brandon Zamora (bass, vocals), the band delivered a set that exhibited the dedication of the members from their years of hard work. Blazing through tracks from their recent release, Forward, the band held nothing back while showcasing their blend of heavy-hitting rock and roll. With the album being mixed by Grammy nominated producer and engineer Mike Ferretti, I hoped that the sound would transpose well into a live setting and I was not disappointed. A heavier live sound is what you want from a rock show and with Brand of Julez, you get just that. Sweat fell to the floor as Frankie D’Esposito (Drums) laid down precision beats that kept the energy high. Nick Kasmanian (guitars) scaled the fretboard with blistering solos that pierced through the live mix at just the right level. The band may not have a ground-breaking sound, but their professional approach and dedication sets them apart from a lot of rock bands across the globe. After witnessing Brand of Julez in a live setting, their love for music shows and I would definitely come see them again if they return to Texas.

DSC_0092
Motograter @ Trees, Dallas, TX. Photo by Corey Smith.

Motograter took to the stage next and seemed to shock most of the crowd who didn’t know who they were. A mesmerizing visual of tribal-like body paint covered every musician from head to toe and blanketed the stage. With two drum sets – one of which was in the corner and seemed to be more of a stage prop than a substantive part of the set – there wasn’t a lot of room left on the stage. That didn’t deter the band from giving it their best shot to entertain the crowd. Unfortunately, the visually appealing aesthetic was coupled with a weak live sound. With a band that portrayed such a dark and atmospheric stage presence, I wanted more depth from them. Industrial rock should make your chest pound and you should feel the bass rattling your bones. Instead, I was left wanting more. Don’t get me wrong, I respect a band who has a long history of hardships, member changes, and setbacks that continues to push forward, but this show missed the mark for me.

DSC_0120
Orgy @ Trees, Dallas, TX. Photo by Corey Smith.

After Motograter, it was finally time for the headliner, Orgy, to take the stage. The small crowd flocked to the front, excited to relive their childhood Goth dreams of dancing and singing along with vocalist Jay Gordon to classic hits like “Stitches” and “Fiction.” Formed in 1998 and reaching the pinnacle of their career early when they joined the Family Values Tour and played to packed stadiums across the globe, Orgy still has a cult following today. With a revolving door of musicians over the years, the band has managed to stay true to its roots. With only a couple of album releases since the earlier 2000’s, the band has relied on their earlier trademark classics to continue playing shows. With their most recent release, Talk Sick (EP), the band seems not to have evolved much. Hashing out the same songs for years has to be exhausting. That exhaustion was portrayed on stage by Gordon as he appeared to be going through the motions and even verbally stated on the mic that he was tired of playing certain songs. This didn’t deter the crowd from dancing and singing along. To close out the night the band finally brought some energy when Gordon left the stage and entered the crowd for a sing-along session with anyone who wanted to grab the mic to perform their rendition of “Blue Monday.” I hope the band creates a new spark with the new album that they have said will be coming out soon. They are in desperate need of a new sound.

Corey Smith


click to enlarge photos –

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s