Last Night: Carlton Melton, Silver Pines, Pure Ecstasy at the Hemlock
Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2009
Better than: A-frame rock
When I invited my friend Scott to hit last night's Hemlock show, I explained that openers Carlton Melton played music they described as "dome rock."
"Does dome rock mean everyone in the band is bald?" he asked.
No, these dudes had kept their long manes intact, even after many years of shredding with now-defunct heavy psych garage rock act Zen Guerrilla. Rather, dome rock means that this Mendocino trio built a geodesic room specifically to enhance the acoustics of their psychedelic jams. Last night the Hemlock ceiling was pretty flat--and low--but even without a curved roof over our heads, we got our noggins lifted by some spacey instrumentals.
The group released a pretty trippy set of music last year (Pass It On, which J Mascis listed in his top records of the year), but they were only able to squeeze three songs into their set live. Each tune meandered in time and style, moving between thundering proto-metal dirges and more melodic forays into meditative rock. The guys played like they were getting pumped for a big sporting event, pounding their fists towards their amps and pressing them into the air after the songs were over. Champions of dome rock, they were (even if most of my crappy photos are of their backs to the crowd).