Monday, April 26, 2010

The Crinn, Ambassador Gun Concert Review

The Crinn, Ambassador Gun
Dreaming Saturn Record Release Show
Saturday, April 24, 2010
The Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis, MN
After getting out of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert (reviewed here) and leaving downtown Minneapolis, I made my way over to the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood to The Triple Rock for what was left of the record release show for The Crinn. Fortunately I caught half of Ambassador Gun’s set of grindcore punk. They played nearly nothing from their When In Hell album (now distributed worldwide by Relapse), instead focusing on newly recorded songs for an EP. They pounded their way through songs such as “The Crosshairs Superior”, “Calamity Jane”, “Chris Brown”, and “Fear And Coercion”, with the guitarist and bassist even switching instruments during the show. Don’t the grindcore tag Ambassador Gun had fool you, because their sound owes as much to death metal and punk. The band sounded tight with the new songs and they look set to begin making a big impact during the next year.
Click picture for more photos of Ambassador Gun (13).

Click to watch Ambassador Gun play “Chris Brown”.

Click to watch Ambassador Gun play “Dynasty”.
Everyone was here to see The Crinn play their first show since the release of their debut album, Dreaming Saturn, which came on this week on Nuclear Blast (reviewed here). The lights were dimmed for a projector displaying psychedelic images, establishing a mood of alternate reality for the next 45 minutes. Listening to Dreaming Saturn leaves you wondering if The Crinn can pull off their feats of technical acrobatics live, but jaws dropped to the floor as the band attacked their instruments and showed that no studio tricks are required for them to level a stage, seemingly without effort. Following the pace of the album, no time was spent bantering between songs as each song blended into the next. Most, if not all, of Dreaming Saturn was played, and the crowd reacted with both a fledgling mosh pit and with people planted with eyes riveted to the guitar wizardry of Cole Leonard. The show closed with the first part of album-closing instrumental “Down, In Waves” leading into “Lucid Dream Field” before segueing back into “Down, In Waves”, sounding much heavier than the laid-back vibe of the album version. While bassist Chad White’s intricate playing could be easily heard, the vocals of John Nelson seemed to be buried under the rest of the band after the first couple of songs. Although the stage setting worked in a small club, the dim lights tended to be too dark (see the videos to understand what I mean). The only legitimate complaint I have is that live, these songs need to be broken up with introductions. Sonically, The Crinn is so dense and complex that the crowd needs occasional breaks to appreciate each song and remember what they’ve heard. Nevertheless, the show was a success and the local crowd was highly appreciative of their experimental, technical hardcore, and eager for more. The Crinn is equally impressive live as on record, and the right tour could help break this outstanding band into the metal mainstream conscience. Be sure to catch one of their next scheduled shows.
Click picture for more photos of The Crinn (26).

Click to watch The Crinn play “Incipience”.

Click to watch The Crinn play “Lucid Dream Field”.

Click to watch The Crinn play “Down, In Waves”.
Ambassador Gun plays at The Annex in Madison, WI on May 15 and Milwaukee, WI at The Rave on May 21 before their next Minneapolis show on Friday, July 16 at Hexagon Bar that kicks off a national tour.
The Crinn plays next on Saturday, May 29 at Station 4 in St. Paul with support from Dead By Wednesday, We Are Legion, Expyre, This Will Not End Well, and She Fach Dahm. The Crinn then opens the night at The Rock in Maplewood on Saturday, July 24 supporting Soilwork with Death Angel, Augury, Mutiny Within, and Swashbuckle.
Out of state, The Crinn plays July 17 at Smoked Out Lounge in Michigan City, IN and is also part of the Soilwork/Death Angel bill at The Rave in Milwaukee, WI on July 23.

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