I attended a show at Joe’s Grotto on September 24th by invitation of several friends I knew who were performing there that night. Just another normal weekend night for me really. No expectations beyond the usual: have a good time, listen to great music, have a drink or two, and mill about whilst shouting encouraging remarks to performers.
First on was Blood From Stone, a band I had previously seen and had befriended, who are definitely a favorite of mine. And having one of the talented young boys from Age of Evil stand in on bass guitar was a treat too. As much as I enjoy their work and support them, however, they weren’t what caught my attention that night.
The second band to hit the stage was Atoms Fall. The singer, an acquaintance of mind named Jeff Crawford befriended back in July at Mayhem Fest, had invited me out. Nothing personal against him or anyone, but the last thing I expect when seeing a band for the first time is to be impressed, especially the more a band member boasts (which Crawford is thankfully not prone to). Getting mixed up into hype and hearsay just dulls one’s musical palate and sets oneself up for unfair judgement, I feel. And, even for a friend’s band, I retain the same mentality. But in this case, I was pleasantly surprised.
Before hitting the stage I had asked Crawford what genre he put his band into, and he couldn’t describe it beyond “hard rock.” After their set, I can see why he couldn’t break it down beyond that: Their sound is varied in all the best ways, from more huggy-cuddly tunes to head-bangy metal riffs. I myself would describe Atoms Fall as melodic radio rock, a mixture of Tool and Alter Bridge. Crawford’s tone quality is distinctive, pure and melodic; his guitarist is a bit stiff but genuinely skilled and an excellent musician; his drummer is tight and sets a solid foundation for the entire band; and his bassist … Honestly, and nothing against Crawford, I think I like his bassist best. That mother can play the shit outta the bass. I was blown away with both his skill as well as his moves, and I’ve branded him one of the best local bassists I’ve ever seen. (Yeah, he’s THAT badass.)
I didn’t attend this show with my camera in hand however, so I apologize in advanced for my whopping two crappy cell phone camera photos. Guess you’ll just have to go to their next show and check them out for yourself. Fancy that.
Check out Atoms Fall at: http://www.atomsfall.com
Check It Out: Atoms Fall live at Joe’s Grotto – Phoenix, AZ 09.24.11
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