Jay’s Upstairs
Missoula, MT

It was a long drive in from Chicago to Missoula but we made it seconds before Alabama Thunderpussy (ATP) took to the stage. Surrounded by mountains, Missoula is an emerald city nestled in a valley that, a million years ago, was a lake - home to the Neanderthal and his primitive beat. When ATP roared onto the stage they brought to life their own clubs of fire igniting their fourth installment “Staring At The Divine” on Relapse records.

Contrary to their name, the band isn't from Alabama, they’re from Richmond, VA. They were originally signed to Man's Ruin in 1998, releasing “Rise Again” (1998) and “River City Revival” (1999) for the San Francisco-based label. Last year saw the release of “Constellation” which took a fevered hold on their audience and pushed the band even further into the limelight. Tonight they leaned heavily on the newer material. ‘Esteemed Friend’ and ‘Whore Adore’ tore through the smoke-filled club like a demon whip. Ferocious and dense with an alternative metal style that is infectious as well as bone-crushing. ‘Ambition’ was the only track that made it from last years “Constellation” yet it’s groove-laden waltz knew the value of a catchy hook.

‘Motor Ready’, ‘Shape Shifter’ and ‘Hunting By Echo’ all took their shot at the spotlight but it was ‘Dryspell’ and ‘Rockin' Is My Business’ of 1999’s “River City Revival” that threw the crowd into a frenzy. Singer Johnny Throckmorton and guitarist Asechiah "Cleetus LeRoque" Bogden, were visibly stunned when three voluptuous females, center stage, engaged in a mock manage a tue complete with shirt removal. Bassist Sam Krivanec and drummer Bryan Cox barely had it together to surge through ‘Ol' Unfaithful’ returning the show, somewhat prophetically back to, “Staring At The Divine”. The band has found a niche for success in the growing popularity of country metal. And no better place to bring it on than at the crossroads of cowboy junction.

Alabama Thunderpussy - Setlist:
Staring At The Divine tour 2002

Esteem Friend - Staring At The Divine
Whore Adore
- Staring At The Divine
Ambition - Constellation
Motor Ready - Staring At The Divine
Shape Shifter - Staring At The Divine
When Mercury Drops -
Hunting By Echo - Staring At The Divine
Dryspell - River City Revival
Ol' Unfaithful - Staring At The Divine
Rockin' Is My Business - River City Revival

Total: 47:31

Music Cartel Records
Coup de Grace tour 2002

This marks Orange Goblin’s first ever tour of the US. After releasing three outstanding LPs, the band finally got the funding to make the jaunt from the UK. Orange Goblin has performed all across Europe at various festivals and club tours for years. Their full-length debut “Frequencies From Planet Ten” put them firmly in the Stoner Rock stable. However, the straight metal of their second disc “Time Travelling Blues” found them at a confused point. Deciding to forge ahead in pure stoner fashion “Big Black” showed them returning to the stoner rock heaviness and space rock weirdness that had made their first album such a hit, but with a more confident grasp of songwriting and extended jams.

On this tour they are backing “Coup de Grace” a record with a much hard edge and concise song writing. One can’t help but wonder if they are trying to find a familiar voice with mass appeal. Yet, it is in their live set that the truth is told and the quandaries are laid to rest. Amazon vocalist Ben Ward sets the mood by bellowing, “Hello Montana, we’ve never been here before, but we hope you like our music. Some people call it Stoner Rock – we just call it Heavy Metal.” And he and the boys Martyn Millard (bass), Joe Hoari (guitar), Pete O'Mally (guitar), and Chris Turner (drums) tear into ‘Solarisphere’ off “Time Travelling Blues”. The show is devastating with the bludgeoning effect of an Eskimo seal hunt.

The set pulls primarily from “Coup de Grace” with anthems ‘Rage Of Angels’, ‘Whiskey Leech’, ‘Monkey Panic’, ‘Red Web’, ‘Your World Will Hate This’, and Misfits cover ‘We Bite’. Midway through the set, at the height of the frenzy, Ward declares, “How can this be called Nu Metal? We’re not done with the old one yet!” Pulling in the guitars and bass to center stage the band make a wedge of sonic combustion and plow into ‘Turbo Effalunt’ from third CD “Big Black”. The sweat is now causing a humid haze to fill the hall but the denim-clad Goblin just keep the heat a comin’. ‘King Of The Hornets’ and ‘Quincy The Pig Boy’ both have their day as well as ‘Red Web’ and ‘Your World Will Hate This’ from the new disc.

The nature of the beast took over as the set went into over drive and ‘Blue Snow’ whipped up into a nice-size Montana blizzard. ‘We Bite’ closed the doors as the band dropped to their knees in pure exhaustion. “We need a place to stay for the night,” groaned a fully inebriated Ward lying on the floor. “Any takers?”

Orange Goblin – Setlist

Solarisphere - Time Travelling Blues
Rage Of Angels - Coup de Grace
Whiskey Leech - Coup de Grace
Aquatic Fanatic - Frequencies From Planet Ten
Monkey Panic - Coup de Grace
Turbo EffaluntBig Black
Getting High On The Bad Times
King Of The HornetsBig Black
Quincy The Pig BoyBig Black
Red Web - Coup de Grace
Your World Will Hate This - Coup de Grace
Blue Snow - Time Travelling Blues
We Bite (Misfits cover) - Coup de Grace