CD Release Bonanza
Bughouse, Lifebleed, Inertia, and Lethargy
at the Water Street Music Hall in Rochester, New York
Friday, July 24, 1998

by: Brian Meloon
If you were stuck in upstate New York on the first day of the Milwaukee Metalfest, with no way to traverse the thousand miles to Milwaukee, what would you have done? Well, you could've gone to this show. It was a CD release party for Inertia and Lifebleed, both of whom were releasing their debut albums. I was previously familiar with the first three bands from their songs on the Watchmen studios compilation [see CoC #27], but for two of them, those first impressions were misleading.

The doors opened at 9, and Bughouse went on at 9:30. They played for more than half an hour. Their music is a mix of alternative/modern rock (Pearl Jam, et al) and heavy hardcore. It was diverse -- and that's good --, but it didn't seem to quite make sense. Their performance was enthusiastic, but the crowd didn't seem to really get it either.

Lifebleed was up next, and played for about an hour. They are a straightforward hardcore band, with a twist here and there, but much more straightforward than I was expecting. They played with a lot of energy, and were entertaining. Despite their youthful appearances, their music was very well played, and pretty mature. The crowd was rather subdued, but came alive in a few sections. Mostly people sat around watching, though.

Inertia came on next, and they also played for about an hour. The first half of their set was excellent, but the second half dragged on too long. They play technical death metal, along the lines of Deeds of Flesh: very rhythmically based, with little or no melody. The playing was very tight and aggressive, but the songs didn't really have enough diversity to keep from sounding the same after a while. After peaking at around 150, the crowd started to thin towards the end of their set, as I'm sure some people got as bored with them as I did. A number of people were escorted out as well, as a handful of fights broke out about three-quarters of the way through their set. Other than that incident, the crowd really didn't react much to them, as their music is too technical to really get into. I was suitably impressed by their performance, but could've done for a few less songs.

Lethargy went on a little after 1:00. They played six songs: one from _It's Hard to Write With a Little Hand_ [CoC #14], one from the Watchmen studios compilation [CoC #27], and four new songs. The new songs were less noodly and more hardcore than their older songs, a fact which seemed to encourage the fans who stuck around until the end. The playing was precise as always, but their performance was less than enthusiastic. Unfortunately, their sound wasn't mixed right: the bass and snare drums were way too high, drowning out the other drums and the guitars and bass. In addition, one of the guitars cut out during the last song, and the band kind of fell apart and stopped playing. And so the show ended. Most people in the crowd seemed confused as to why they would play only six songs, and give it such a lackluster effort.

In any case, it was a successful outing for the two bands whose CDs were released that evening: Lifebleed and Inertia. Both put on impressive shows, and should be around for some time. On the other hand, the future for Lethargy seems less sure.

(article submitted 1/9/1998)

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