Early Man

Posted November 13, 2008 in

Have you not heard? Metal—true, funny-shaped-guitar, stringy-haired, sleeveless-shirted, goldfish-faced man’s metal—is back. Take a listen to Brit hits Trivium, the resurgent Machine Head and the suddenly-hip-again Metallica for details. So it’s right time, right place for Ohio’s Early Man, who—as well as the predictable Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden stimuli—draw-upon such terminally un-hip Euro metal as Celtic Frost, Kreator and even Mercyful Fate to create their disciplined, dark cacophony of buzzy bee guitars and adolescent lyrics. Ultra-dynamic—full of unifying rhythmic bombast and locked-in twin axes—Early Man also indulge in Steve Harris-approved galloping grooves, drill sergeant rants and the patchouli-scented, swim-ear psychedelic vocals of early Sabs. Apparently (blissfully) unaware of grunge’s punk-informed looseness or nü-metal’s Neanderthal, bludgeoning production, Early Man still sound kinda thin n’ spindly and, for all their implied menace and over-use of reverb, conjure images of a bunch of pimple-popping teens doing their thing in a suburban garage beneath mall-bought pot posters and black lights. On stage Early Man are a smile-inducing celebration of the skinny-jeaned, tasteless metal band t-shirt Wassup Rockers aesthetic.Yet main-man Mike Conte’s disarmingly heartfelt, perpetually wounded vocals and guitar solos that actually have something to say set his band miles apart from the artless, wallet chain-wearing orc dorks whose cover-heavy “bands” insult suburban bar-goers everywhere. (Paul Rogers)


Early Man at the Glass House, 200 W. 2nd St., Pomona, (909) 865-3802, Sun., Nov. 16, 7PM. $18 at the door, $15 advance



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