Earth, King Dude | Kings | Clubs & Concerts | Indy Week

Clubs & Concerts

Earth, King Dude

When: Sat., Sept. 20, 9 p.m. 2014

For Earth, it was time to turn back up. In the early ’90s, Dylan Carlson’s Pacific Northwest crew were one of the world’s premier volume syndicates, playing (and, in part, pioneering) monolithic “drone metal.” On the landmark Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version, a guitar, a bass and an army of amplifiers vibrated walls, windows and bellies alike.  But after a brief turn toward modern rock, Earth disintegrated in the mid-’90s, only to reform eight years later at a much more approachable decibel level. Backed by drummer Adrienne Davies and a rotating crew of cellists, bassists and keyboardists, Carlson delivered an elegant, sullen version of the blues, his peerless electric guitar tone radiating like bioluminescence in the night. There were dips into chamber ensemble beauty and jazz fusion bliss. The new Primitive and Deadly, however, pushes back toward a middle ground between Earth’s loud-and-low days and their more recent pleasantness. There are proper guitar solos and deeper drums, aggressive riffs and guest vocals from former Screaming Tree Mark Lanegan and astral Seattle singer Rabia Shaheen Qazi. “We’ve gotten known for doing these sparse, full-of-restraint, subdued albums, but we wanted to reclaim ourselves as a rock band, to make some music that grabs you by the throat,” says Davies, en route between shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles’ Hollywood Forever Cemetery. “We were sick of all that jazz.” On record, the results are mixed. Lanegan, for instance, feels tacked-on and noncommittal, though the tangles of Carlson and Built to Spill guitarist Brett Netson create one of the most powerful moments on any Earth album. On stage, these songs revert to their original forms, with no vocalists—only a power trio with their amps turned up and Davies leaning into her kit more than she has since Earth rebooted a decade ago, working for more than two hours at a time. “There’s more amperage going on; we’re much louder onstage than when we had a cello or the trombone,” Davies says. “It’s more energetic. You have to go to the gym to be able to go on tour with Earth now—it’s an intense, physical workout.” With King Dude. —Grayson Haver Currin

Price: $13-$15

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