THE CONNECT FIVE: Shows to see this week in Savannah

Welcome to Super Heavy Week with a squiggly-floop-bloop diversion from Montreal.

WED MAY 8 | 8 PM
Nothing gives death metal authenticity like a real brush with death. Fuming Mouth founder and primary songwriter Mark Whelan faced a cancer diagnosis three weeks before the scheduled recording of the band’s sophomore record “Last Day of Sun.” His treatment coincided with the studio time, and the resulting album is a ferocious and personal slab of crushing, hardcore punk-infused death metal. It’s got the sharpness of Pig Destroyer and the tonnage of Abominable Iron Sloth, two of the genre’s heaviest.

Adding to the cacophony is Charleston’s Circle Back, a relentless hardcore act fronted by the evil doppelganger of Connect Savannah’s own Jesse Blanco. Savannah’s Slingblade serve a brain melting aural cocktail of sludge metal and hardcore, and they sure do like them French fried potaters.

FRI MAY 10 | 7 PM
The last time a Portland band of note visited Savannah, krautrock revivalists Motrik put on one of the best El Rocko shows you’ll ever see. Can lightning strike twice?

Earth has been practicing its unique slow metal sound for 30 years, with a commitment to minimalism and austerity. Most of the music is instrumental, with few effects and stripped of most sonic ornamentation. The result is something very specific to this one band, and precisely the kind of artist you’d expect Ryan Graveface to bring to the Lodge. Expect to hear original variations on the song Black Sabbath by the band Black Sabbath from the album “Black Sabbath” and then some.

FRI MAY 10 | 8 PM
The Nashville band is yet another quality outfit that expertly rides high on the ridge between hard rock and metal. They made their mark on Savannah at the 2015 Stopover, playing to a very enthusiastic crowd at a blatantly oversold Jinx. They’ve only gotten better since, continuing to hone their sound by recording in remote cabins to escape distraction and focus on music. Founder and drummer Robby Staebler, who was living in his car when he arrived in Music City from the gloom of Portland in 2012, recently left the band, but they continue with a short US tour before heading to Europe for the summer. They’ve been compared to Queens of the Stone Age and “Black Sabbath meets progressive metal." Neither is unfair.

The heavy sound is accented with inescapable Southern rock, stoner rock, psychedelia and blues. Multi-instrumentalist Rich Ruth supports with his unique vocal-free expressions that range from meditative and atmospheric to high-spirit and joyous.

FRI MAY 10 | 10 PM
The Montreal duo of Christian Srigley and Leighton James, like more EDM acts that one might suspect, started as a pop punk band before putting down the instruments and picking up the samples. That was in 2011, and they’ve pushed the dubstep sound since, reviving it with high-pitched female vocals, big builds and heavy drops.

Their debut album reached No. 1 on North American dance and electronic charts, their top single, “Crave You,” has more than 34 million streams, and they were nominated for a Grammy in 2018. It's safe to say AC are legitimate EDM superstars. They cite Skrillex, Flux Pavilion and Bring Me the Horizon as influences and have, of course, appeared at major EDM festivals, including several this year.

TUES MAY 14 | 8 PM
If bombastic metal had a Mt. Rushmore, Dixie Dave Collins of Weedeater has a spot-on lock. When the musical asylum Buzz*oven finally collapsed, his side project became his only project. It’s been a slow and heavy ride since. In a 2021 interview story, some dope described their sound as “a shredded oil tanker full of sludge moving through a shallow stream of glue and huge chunks of other shredded oil tankers.”
That wasn’t quite a misstatement, but it left out the fact that it’s not all slow. Weedeater can rage, but at their typical stalking, foreboding pace, the brooding music matches the live set with Dixie’s madman performance and constantly threatening Manson lamps. Their albums, recorded by near-genius Steve Albini, are damn good, but as Dixie once said, “We’re essentially a live band.” That they are, and one worth experiencing.

They’re also known for taking bands on the road with them that are a different genre, and Cancerslug fits that rule. The Alabama-based horror punk/death rock band will remind you of Misfits and Samhain in a good way. Doof is more like Weedeater, playing slow metal influenced by Floor and Torche. Prepare to be steamrolled.

Frank Ricci

Frank Ricci is a freelance writer living in Savannah, Georgia. In his career, he's contributed to many Las Vegas megaresort brands owned by Mandalay Resort Group and Mirage Resorts. He’s also worked with Dell, Root Sports Network, Savannah College of Art and Design, ad agencies in Las Vegas and New York, and a...
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