Goblin Cock

<img src="http://www.qromag.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/goblincockfeb2sm.jpg" alt=" " />Austin’s Red 7 is known for metal, and the three bands that played its outside stage on February 2nd attacked the genre from different angles....

Goblin Cock

Austin’s Red 7 is known for metal, and the three bands that played its outside stage on February 2nd attacked the genre from different angles.

Locals Eagle Claw opened.  They’re a dense instrumental trio not unlike High on Fire that employs a video projector.  Their best tune, set against Godzilla showing Mechagodzilla a thing or two, opened in a fast prog style reminiscent of early Don Caballero, only to turn slow and menacing.  Elsewhere, they riffed in lockstep to the cuts of a video of a black-clad witch caressing and de-coiffing a nude blonde.

Whatever the intent of the projection, it parodied the band as often as it helped.  Abstract images worked better (let’s say that animatronic fighting Japanese dinosaurs are not abstract), but soaring eagles and stampeding, bouncing wildebeests were more mockeries and distractions than accompaniments.  Seating a curly-haired woman at the foot of the stage to run the picture show from a laptop also saps some of its energy.

As The Roller set up, some big, longhaired dude wearing Texas boots, plaid, and a leather vest stood behind their guitarist and pretended to hump him as he plugged in his amp.  It was pretty funny, and made standing in the outside cold better than the inside cold.  When realizing that this gentleman was the band’s singer, one had high expectations for their set.

Theron Rhoten’s guitar dominated The Roller’s sound, and he’s a good player.  But the band was too loud for its own good, as the volume obscured their better riffs and sludgy textures.  Although they were tight, they didn’t develop much groove because the guitar drowned out the drums.  Mike Morowitz’s growling, which is fine recorded, was also barely audible.  Their best moments were when Rhoten played note riffs or soloed, breaking from the dull onslaught of endless power chords out of bass and guitar.

Goblin Cock, one of San Diegan Rob Crow’s (QRO solo album review) many projects, had definitely worked hard on their shtick.  They all dressed in black gowns with black mesh obscuring their faces, except for the drummer, who had some ghoulish face paint on.  Still, you could tell that they weren’t actually demons, because Crow wore sneakers.

As for the music, they played power-pop with a metal bent, basically how it would sound if Rob Crow decided to start a metal band.  If they changed the guitar tone a bit and you turned your back to the stage, you might think Crow’s Pinback (QRO album review) or Heavy Vegetable were behind you.  They had a handful of good riffs and catchy songs.  The keyboardist, who at first seemed superfluous, also controlled vocal effects and played sampled dialogue.

Goblin Cock successfully parodied the metal show.  Members extended the horns at every possible moment, well past beating a dead horse.  That two of them wore Godzilla boots over their shoes, and the others just had sneakers, underlined the point that there is nothing menacing about costumes, jagged black guitars, smoke machines, or any clichéd shtick in general.  And though ridiculing metal’s shtick is hardly more original than the shtick itself, Goblin Cock broke new ground during the encore when the keyboardist produced a pair of black pom-poms, his routine pushing the audience to laughter.

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