Thursday, May 19, 2011

SF Weekly

Openers: Get There Early For High Castle
high small castle.jpg
We've had it with pretty. We've had it with cute. We've had it with autoharp, vocal harmonies, and the acoustic guitar.

This week, we're arriving early for punk -- the fuzzed-out, gutter-pitched mayhem of Oakland trio High Castle, who are opening Abe Vigoda's show Sunday night at Bottom of the Hill.

Lots of bands are out there giving the p-word a bad name, but High Castle's music preaches the chaotic faith with rabid devotion.

The boys smash their tom-toms and down-tuned strings into blunt, sludgy rhythms that sound like an Olympia-bred Mission of Burma, or a clumsier Sonic Youth. All three members sing -- well, shout -- in a cacophonous racket that's both abrasive and wry in the way Gang of Four was. "Are Fixed Gear Tricksters...?" opens with a punishing, pounding confrontation that bumps into a blown-out post-punk groove before stopping to slap you in the face. Trust us -- their grit will feel good after all that so-called Noise Pop.

High Castle
at Bottom of the Hill 3/7
with Abe Vigoda and Lovvers

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