Brothers of the Sonic Cloth Live @ The Comet Tavern
Oct. 10, 2009
By Nik Cristofferson
I have been a fan of Tad Doyle ever since I heard “Grease Box.” That monster track off influential Seattle band TAD’s 1993 major label debut Inhaler spoke to me in multiple ways as a kid. At age thirteen I was intoxicated by the music from our local alt-rock radio station and my little bedroom boom box. Of all the local bands played on the radio in the early nineties, and we all know who they are – TAD and the Melvins were the most instrumental in opening my mind to heavy music at a young age.
I was never able to see TAD in their heyday, and this left a void I didn’t realize was there until I discovered in 2007 that Doyle had a new project in the works. His return was exactly what this city and I needed to fill that void left by his legacy in TAD. Of course there was Hog Molly, which produced a decent record. Then there was the short lived and ill fated Hoof, whose music didn’t even come close to capturing my vision of what a band named Hoof would sound like. (I saw Hoof play at Graceland (El Corazon), and besides the excitement of seeing Tad play live I remember being completely underwhelmed).
So the first time I heard Tad had a new band called Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, I had a gut feeling it would be some of his heaviest work yet. I caught BOTSC’s first gig at El Corazon in 2008; they opened for the now defunct Middian and completely blew my mind. Tad commanded the stage, not only with his large frame but more importantly with some monstrous and epic sounds. My instincts were correct; it was indeed brutally heavy, but sounded nothing like anything Tad had done in the past. This new band reached new stratospheres; combining the best elements of drone, doom, psych, and stoner metal, along with gut wrenching vocals that could skin a cat.
Fast forward to 10/10/09– After only a year and a half of playing shows around town, Brothers of the Sonic Cloth have become a household name in Seattle’s current heavy music scene alongside Akimbo, Lesbian, and Helms Alee. Last Saturday local heavy music fans packed the Comet Tavern to celebrate the release of BOTSC’s first official recordings to date. Tad Doyle, bassist Peggy Tully, and drummer Aaron Edge (Iamthethorn, Grievous) have finally unleashed a killer slab of heavy unto the world in the form of a 10” split LP with another Seattle riff bringer Mico De Noche. Prior to this release only a cd-r demo was available to the public. The LP showcases new music by both bands as well as some great artwork by Aaron Edge and local screen print artist extraordinaire and Akimbo drummer Nat Damm.
Brothers of the Sonic Cloth bludgeoned the packed crowd with familiar songs like “I Am”, and “La Mano Poderosa” off their demo cd-r, but it was the scorcher “Fires Burn Dim in the Shadows of the Mountain” from the new 10” that really impressed. It’s a 12 plus minute gargantuan marathon of doom and sludge, and in my mind separates BOTSC from the large pack of stoner/doom/sludge bands currently thriving in the world.
Tad’s vocals aren’t quite what they used to be live, but every time he opened his mouth nothing short of a throat shredding growl was mustered. The imposing rhythm section of Edge and Tully brings to mind Butler and Ward, while Tad himself lays a thick foundation of riffs and atmosphere that only someone with a keen sense of what the word “HEAVY” in music means, could and would create. Tad is a heavy music master, and sometimes I’m not sure he gets enough credit. This definitely didn’t apply to the people in the Comet on Saturday though, as most graciously returned Tad’s signature fist to palm salute at least one time during the set.
Keep up with new NadaMucho.com contributor Nik at his blog, Seattle Rock Guy.