Until about five years ago, Kudzu Wish was one of the finest rock bands in North Carolina. After the band's breakup, the Guilford alumni splintered across Triad and Triangle. Vocalist Adam Thorn turned into a jangle junkie and dialed it back with The Top Buttons, bringing Tim Lafolette along for the ride when he could pull him away from the tough-twee Popovers. Guitarist/ vocalist Devender Sellars kept Greensboro in line with non-departures The Session, and Shaking Hands with Danger, while guitarist Eric Mann hooked into the Triangle with Fighting Poseidon.
Mann and company's debut EP Hellride doles out live-wire guitar skuzz and spirited post-hardcore too frayed to resemble late-era Kudzu, a machine that became streamlined and efficient. Instead, Mann reaches deeper into his past, pulling from the tense, tangled moments of that early Disband split, while singer Cody Heckle channels Cedric Bixler-via-Adam Duritz (no, really) as he yowls at the moon. Poseidon doesn't have the thundering low-end growl of Monsonia, the dynamism of Maple Stave or the cranky scowl of Hazerai. But they've got a ruthless spirit. In fact, if these guys got one thing straight, it's the name: Standing up to history is no short order. And here, Mann & co. don't go down without a fight.
Fighting Poseidon plays Hell with Thunderlip and Freedom Hawks Saturday, Feb. 2, at 10 p.m. A $2 donation is requested.