5.30.13: Retox x Graf Orlock x Stab City

Shame on me for not thinking the worst of a venue called The Smell, in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. The Smell did just that. Hell, there was a somewhat fresh piece of human shit right near the entrance — which is in a dark alley — and there’s no telling if that was left there by a bum, show organizers, or displeased patrons. My guess is that the turd was left by someone annoyed that their favorite candy bar wasn’t being sold inside. Oh yeah, The Smell is an all ages, booze-free venue. Die.

Upon entering, one begins to sweat profusely, and notices the lovely odor bouncing off the walls, and not necessarily in that order.  The aroma reminded me of the times I forgot my P.E. clothes at home, and had to go into the “loaner” closet in the locker room to fish out decently fitting, sweat soaked attire. Once its been established that a pre-show shower was completely unnecessary, you wade through the cramped hallway of part-time working teenagers trying to scrounge up 8 bucks for a tee, and make your way to the hotter, smellier performance area. Thankfully I showed up just as Stab City wrapped up their nonsense, and Graf Orlock took the stage. Wasting no time, the crowd, of what appeared to be mostly teenagers, started to mosh as the 20th Century Fox theme played. This was a school night. Where the fuck are the parents?

Having never seen Graf Orlock before, I wondered how the movie skits would interfere with the music. I personally found the skits to be momentum killers between songs, but people didn’t seem to mind. After all, the skits are part of the charm of Graf Orlock, and its not like they’re out there playing soft rock. This is a grind/power violence band we’re talking about. Momentum can get picked up in a split second. When the mosh hooligans weren’t busy cheering on their favorite audio from a movie, they were busy doing roundhouse kicks, and that spinning punch thing that Zangief from Street Fighter II does. I’m too old to get kicked in the face by some teenager, so I stayed out of the chaos for once, and observed from a distance as vocalist “Karl Bournze” did a 45 minute crowd surf while the band burned a full day’s calories on that cramped stage.

The band’s set list was comprised mostly of material from the Destination Time series, but included cuts from Doom Box, and a couple off of their latest release, Los Angeles. Also, as their set wound down, they played a medley of songs that included Sleep’s “Dragonaut”, which was a fun, and confusing change of pace to anyone in attendance born in the 90’s. I was a bit upset when my favorite song from Los Angeles was not performed, but I was thrilled to have seen the mighty Graf Orlock regardless. There’s no telling when they’d play live again.

I left after Graf Orlock. Had I not been so worn out from attending Maryland Death Fest the week prior, I probably would have checked out Retox, but the smell of the human turd out front made me hit a wall. Now here’s some Vine videos of Graf Orlock!



Busting out “Dragonaut”!!

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