Seaside’s own Razorhoof roars into Blue Fin for a four-band night.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The makeshift music room, lit by a single light bulb, feels more like an 8-by-8-foot tomb. A six-foot Emperor amplifier, an oversized four-piece drum set, a mattress pressed up against the lone window and a Twisted Sister record on an empty bookcase are all crammed into the space along with the three musicians. In the hall, Lucky the dog runs frantically back and forth, trying to make sense of the deafening sound.
This is the scene every Tuesday and Thursday night, when Razorhoof – a local prog-metal trio – gets together to practice at guitarist Rick Chasteen’s house in Seaside.
Tonight the band plays without any vocals and rips through new songs like the epic, Anthrax-flavored “Crawl” and the bass-heavy “Abyss.” The music is hypnotic and unified, a symphonic wall of sound.
Beyond the ear-wrenching volume – the sound guy at Blue Lagoon in Santa Cruz recently reprimanded the band for being too loud – there are distinct traces of Motörhead, Fucked Up and King Crimson present in the music.
Razorhoof (the name of a High on Fire song) formed about a year ago and consists of longtime local musicians James Brian (formally of Beezle) on drums, Nic Beatty on bass and vocals and Chasteen on guitar and vocals. Though it’s taken a year, the band will celebrate the release of its six-track EP on Saturday night at the Blue Fin.
“The album is pretty much a snapshot of much more to come,” Chasteen says.
“Hopefully, [the EP] will open some doors for us,” adds Beatty.
All of Razorhoof’s songs feature intricate, well-thought-out time signatures that keep the heaviness fresh and interesting, not just loud.
“Everything we do in our music has a purpose,” Beatty says. “Our music is real and passionate; it’s music that musicians would appreciate.”
These guys find inspiration in everything from the ’80s Christian metal band Stryper to Weezer’s Blue Album.
“We all come from different musical backgrounds; that’s what makes a band interesting,” Brian says. “And we all listen to different stuff; I grew up on heavy metal then got into indie and Midwest rock before getting back into metal.”
“I’ve always liked anything with shredding guitars,” Chasteen adds. “I’m a total guitar geek.”
After the band practices for about an hour (any more than that beckons complaints from the neighbors), members crack open bottles of Blue Moon and check out a recent write-up in Your Music Magazine. They’re not too fond of one of the photos – Brian posing at his drum set with a goofy smile on his face. But the trio takes it in stride and refocuses its energy on what’s most important: the music.
“Part of what we hope to do is help bring a real music scene to Monterey,” Beatty says.
Razorhoof is planning a “West Coast Domination” tour in February that will include stops in Las Vegas, Oregon, Washington and Los Angeles.
La Fin Du Monde, Granted Earth and Soul Merchant also play.