SXSW Review: Skeletonwitch, Trash Talk, March 13, Mohawk

Let me make one thing clear right off the bat: Skeletonwitch is a pretty rad name for a band. If I was a 13 year old kid wanting to scrawl a band’s logo onto my binder, these boys from Ohio would definitely make the cut. Wait, do kids still draw band logos on their binders or are they too busy texting? Actually, scratch that. I don’t think kids even use binders anymore. What the kids are into is a good, old fashioned metal/hardcore show, and the fine folks behind Pitchfork’s Show No Mercy column provided that in spades.  And there were kids at this event, as in young children.  “Look at that little ass kid!” remarked Trash Talk vocalist Lee Spielman, who wondered aloud if he could get this kid to write about the show from his perpective.  Seemingly getting approval from Pitchfork, he added, “You’re hired, kid.”  Hopefully this kid is now on full time at Pitchfork and learning the important distinction between an 8 and an 8.2.

Trash Talk put on an insanely intense show.  Or perhaps an intensely insane one.  Either way, the kids were eating it up, with one of the most intense pits I’ve seen in awhile.  I’d heard good things about these guys going back a couple of years now, but this was my first chance to check them out.  Despite having already played a show that afternoon at Scoot Inn (where they would play yet another show later that evening), the band showed no signs of waning energy.  Mind you, i don’t get  the impression that these guys tend to ever just go through the motions.  Spielman for his part, played an amusing ringmaster, venturing into the crowd on numerous occasions, encouraging the crowd to start circle pits, yes, but also jokingly admonishing them for not tucking in their t-shirts like him since this was “a proper event.”

Closing out the afternoon, Skeletonwitch delivered an equally impressive performance ,playing their only set of the festival.  Like Spielman, vocalist Chance Garnet was also an entertaining frontman with some good between song banter, at one point randomly shouting out, “Smoke weed, Austin!”  and then chuckling to himself before launching into the next song.  The band’s sound, a mix of thrash, death metal, and black metal, went over well with the crowd.  In addition, they previewed a song from their upcoming album.  As far as I know, it’s as yet untitled.  Might I suggest Smoke Weed Austin?

Posted on by Paul in Concerts, South By Southwest