Photo by Betty Monteavaro Floor, sitting on the ground
Churchill's Pub, Miami
Saturday, March 27, 2010
As I live and breathe here in South Florida, I know a freaking thing or two: Floor is slow-thudding metal royalty. The kind that blue-blooded region rockers will sell their future babies for. And that's a good thing. This reformation show (Floor parted ways in 2004) was the same as it ever was -- something I've been waiting for since I got the "Goddard/Slugthrower" 7-inch on Rhetoric Records back in '95. The delicious white slab of wax fueled many a morning where I would've been more prone to throw in the towel, but no! Thank you Floor for making the morning worth it. Their new, gigantic boxed set titled Below & Beyond could make it worth it for all parties onstage and off. And worth it, it was.
Know the following: South Florida is the asshole of the music world. It is almost impossible for a band to make it hailing from this sequestered swamp. But Steve Brooks and Anthony Vialon did it. For better or for worse, they trudged along with different drummers and made an honest stab (a refreshing stab if you will) at the burgeoning doom/sludge market of the early '90s. Bands will wear their loves on their sleeves, and the whole Black Sabbath thing is okay, but when you factor in geographical isolation receding into the "guitar bomb" and pop nuances into some real macho music, you know you have something special at hand.
And it is with great pride that I can say that I was there. There to witness the stacked amps and unrelenting fog machine as Churchill's Hideaway Pub got a taste of the building blocks it is built upon. Here's a band that has come and gone; a band that has a huge following, making a mini-tour (away from their daily charges) predicated on the entire roster of musicians available for the night! Here's how it went down, and pay attention.
Churchill's shows never start on time, but this one did. Brooks and Vialon on double axes with founding drummer (and awesome local artist) Betty Monteavaro on drums for a solid half-hour set. Sludge mayhem that was as unpolished as what they committed to vinyl in the early '90s. Delicious and crucial. Followed by a second set featuring next-in-line drummer Jeff Sousa tearing through the No Idea Records maroon Dove LP. A highlight was most certainly their fogged-out rendition of "Namaste." And then, as the piece of resistance, was a short break followed by drummer Henry Wilson aiding the cause as the band ripped through the "full-length" album, opening with crowd pleaser "Scimitar" in its full guitar-bomb goodness. Heads bopped and bodies kept themselves in check with Churchill's as packed as I've seen it since the last full-fledged Eat reunion show in the late '90s. It helped that an armed guard was holding down the door.
Dan Cavity was there and I must note what a shame it was to not have the almighty-fucking Cavity share the bill. For all you Sleep, Orange Goblin, Electric Wizard, Bongzilla, Kyuss-listeners, Miami did it first and best, with Cavity and Floor. For one furious night, the Miami sky was lit with real shit. Visceral shit that doesn't care about your middle name and is willing to rev up amps for what they are worth and I was there and it was glorious! Better luck next time, maybe you can catch 'em in Georgia before the shindig belly-ups.
Better Than: Steve Brooks is in Torche, douchebag. Nothing is better than that.
Personal Bias: This was the best possible night ever.
Random Detail: I got so rip-roaring drunk, I vomited in my sleep on top of my special lady-friend that lent me the car for the Deicide show a couple of weeks back. And I didn't wash the sheets. Stat!
By the Way: There are three awesome versions of their entire discography available from Robotic Empire Records as well as a deelish Betty Monteavaro artist book, buy and buy and buy some more.