June 9, 2009

Performer Magazine Presents: Benard, Hawks and Lords | The 529 | Atlanta, GA | May 28, 2009

Review and video by Albert Opraseuth
You instantly forget the show started two and a half hours late once Benard struck its first chord – setting an unmatched standard for the rest of the night. Amongst the dissonance, distortion and heavy drum beats; the band pounded out a 28-minute set that absolutely ripped apart my definition of how music should function. If you listened to each instrument separately, it probably wouldn’t make any sense. Together Benard crafts a brand of post-punk, noisy and cacophonous sound that blends into something incredible. I’ve always imagined the soundtrack to the Apocalypse to be comprised of different sub genres of metal. However, when catalyst for the destruction of the planet finally appears, Benard’s music should be playing to set the nefarious tone.

Hawks played next. Together, they’ve crafted a very noisy, very loud sound, as well as a very theatrical performance. Both the melodic instrument players have mastered the art of playing with a lit cigarette in their mouths – though not actually smoking them – serving an aesthetic purpose. Furthermore, the band’s guitarist seemed immune to the affects of “smoke-eye” that often hinders musicians who wear glasses from smoking while playing. Hawks’ set was rhythmic and almost tribal. Although some crowd left during their set because of the sonic intensity, the majority head-banged and threw beer cans in reference to the chaotic songs.

Lords capped off the show at 2 a.m. Their 30-minute set was ferocious and intense as the band demonstrated why it’s often referred to as the “Lords of Louisville.” The band – formally on legendary indie label Jade Tree – drove all the way down from its home state of Kentucky just to play this one show. Enticed by the prospect of free beer, the band played and commented about how this particular show was the first gig in a long time that the group actually liked the other performing bands. About 50 loyal patrons stuck around this late to see the band absolutely destroy. Lords’ hard, spastic and incredibly fast blend of punk, hardcore and bedlam created a boisterous background from last call until close.

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