Well friends, that time is upon us once more. I’m spooning a yellow Forever 21 box full of polyester bralettes, I’m out several hundred dollars, and I can hardly sleep out of anticipation of spending three days in a parking lot. That’s right, Memorial Day weekend is impending, and that only means one thing – Maryland Deathfest. I know you probably don’t care about what bands I’m anticipating. I know I wouldn’t give a shit about what bands some B- Erin Brockovich who in middle school thought Korn was really black is anticipating. BUT PLZ LET ME JUST EMOTE FOR A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE I’M RLLY EXCITED 4REAL OKAY.
I’ve been going to so many events where I just plain don’t belong lately. I had to go walk at my graduation even though I’ve been finished since December, and it was pretty much just a reminder that I only had three friends in college and that my family is certifiable. I went to the Preakness and walked eight mile through the mud with the staff of Total Frat Move while attempting to hold in my vom after being exposed to too much citrus vodka and polka dot bow ties. It is in this mud I also lost my phone, my cowboy boots, the backpack I was going to take to MDF, and also a part of my soul. I mean fuck, I can drink Pinnacle and twerk to Fetty Wap (who ended up being too fucked to perform) with the best of them, but I just always end up leaving these kinds of things feeling slightly unfulfilled, like if on the night of your bachelorette party you peaked on the party bus on the way there. You feel me?
That’s why Deathfest is the shit. My inner Daria, who I usually have to suppress, can finally come out and have a nice weekend on the town. It’s like Tina Belcher at a Pony butt convention. It just feels right. And even better, it comes to my motherfucking front door. Lord help me if I would have been borned in Boise, Idaho or something. I probably would have drowned myself in the radioactive drainage ditch/local swimming hole by now.
On that note, here are a few of the bands for which I am particularly stoked to watch with my eyeballs. Well, the Edison lot bands anyway. I should probably explain that I just bought a three-day Edison pass because I’m moving soon and couldn’t justify paying like $4,000 for an all-venue. I also forgot to buy a single day for Rams Head Thursday when Buzzo*ven and Bongripper and Weedeater are playing before it got super sold out and I really can’t even talk about it. Maybe I’ll just make like one of the crusties and stand outside the doors and hold up the ear trumpet I found in the dumpster behind the medical museum. Maybe I can even dig up a kid-sized one for my pit bull. Or maybe I’ll just go to bed because work on Friday isn’t exactly cancelled due to Deathfesting. On second thought, thank you to everyone that made Thursday a sell out for forcing me to be a responsible adult. Keep it up. I need you.
I don’t always listen to thrash, but when I do, I like it modern, a pinch self-aware, and performed by arms that I could lick like a goddamn soy soft serve cone (I see you, Death Angel). Hellbringer proves that a noon set doesn’t mean mediocre musicianship or a lack of bullets in your belt. Any three piece that can produce that kind of hype in terms of sound is a must-see to me. I’ll tell you hwhat, boys – you bring the hell, I’ll bring the mimosas, and we can all have a nice Saturday morning brunch.
Denouncement Pyre (AUS)
Another Aussie act! I definitely had never heard of these guys before the lineup was announced (while we’re on that topic, go read an important article here), but their name really jumped out at me so I thought I’d give them a listen, and man, I’m glad I did. I think that’s another great aspect of MDF – it’s not only perfected the art of getting a nice balance of bands with varying levels of popularity, but it also manages to pull s acts that you’d pretty much never have the luck of catching on their home turf. Anyway, don’t let Denouncement Pyre’s stick pile logo fool you – this is no generic shit. I think they’re going to be hitting me in the face harder than my setting powder brush when I’m hammered.
Oh, girl. I don’t really know what this is but I like it, although my self-awareness meter is confused. In this case, part of me kind of hopes that it’s not at all, although from what I can gather it was their original lineup that wasn’t and the reunion very much is. Someone that knows things let me know. Halp. But I’m excited nonetheless. I might even have to stop at Wally World to get some fresh laces for my arm pleather.
Ugh, what a fucking band. 2 underrated 2 lift. I especially feel them in the context of an open air festival since not every black metal band can quite pull that off. Like as much as I lose my mind for Xasthur, I don’t know about how one of Scott Conner’s acoustic sets would translate in a rowdy parking lot (someone book his ass for Rams Head next year maybe?? Lawlz, never gonna happen 2k17). I do hear Scott yelling at me for using patch-famous bands to describe lesser-known bands, but fuck, I feel like it’s kind of warranted in this case – if you like Taake, I think you’ll like these dudes. Do with that thought kernel what you will. Please stay with me as I begin my mid-week mental derailment into a pile of mashed potatoes b/c exhaustion.
I guess I shouldn’t whine about missing Weedeater too much because shit, homegirl still got Bongzilla. I missed them when they were in town a few months back and I’m grateful for such a speedy shot at redemption (and again, for not being shit out in Bumblefuckville, Midwest). Every MDF there seems to be one “stoner” band that grabs the whole lot by the dick. A year or two ago it was fave Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats, and I think 2016 is going to be the year of the Zilla. Mark my words. And always remember to bring a towel.
The Haunted (SWE)
Every Deathfest needs at least one a-little-cheesey-but-gotta-love-em Century Media clusterfuck, and I’m glad that this year, it’s The Haunted. Like a higher budget Visceral Disgorge (sorry, Scott), The Haunted brings all the macho fuckery you need to facilitate the pit wounds to show off to Grandma at your Memorial Day cookout. Also, special props to the festival overlords who did the scheduling. I really appreciate their placement before Samael since I can’t help but feel as though some Cutting Teeth will be getting me moist for some trench coats and flying pentagrams.
Paradise Lost (UK)
You know, it’s funny. I really didn’t care for these guys the first time I heard them a few years back. But, they’ve grown on me, and now they’re actually one of the bands I’m most amped to experience live. I probably shouldn’t make this generalization without hearing everyone on the lineup first, but fuck, I’m making it anyway – Paradise Lost jumped off the laminate to me as the band with the most distinct point of view. I’ll let you know how it goes, but right now I’m thinking they’re going to be the ones that really steal the show.
Call me basic. Tell me I have the personality of a cactus. I don’t really fucking care. I’m genuinely pissing my pants for Venom and I’m stoked to see that they’re tearing up the summer festival circuit for yet another year in a row. I mean really, do I need to say anything more? Talk about wrapping things up on a high note. Now let’s go back to the beginning and do it big!
For all of y’all coming into town for this grand gala, I believe it is my civil duty as a Murderland resident to steer you and your loved ones in the right direction when it comes to drinking in the 410…i.e. away from Natty Boh. If you’re not familiar, Boh is basically Baltimorean Miller Lite, which actually makes sense since the company was bought by Pabst and skipped town to Milwaukee a minute ago. Maybe I’m a little biased because in my youth, I once threw up straight NB out of my ex’s window after drinking like eight lukewarm cans on an empty stomach. But seriously, there’s a lot better stuff out here. You like IPA’s, right? Of course you fucking do. You’re under 40 and covered in patches. So just go grab yourself a Flying Dog, or if you have the funds, go out to Pub Dog in Federal Hill or De Kleine Duivel in Hampden. Just please #noboh.
So there you have it. If you’re coming out this year, come say hey what’s up hello. And for those who will be there in spirit, stay tuned for pics on pics next week!