The Beatdown

Corruption's new CD displays metal moxie of the best kind.

When Corruption finally hit the stage for its first show in six months, the place erupted. "You guys fucking rock," someone shouted -- probably that guy who'd been standing next to me in line. And then Grabowski and his crew opened the gates of hell. Funny thing was, these guys didn't look nearly as menacing as they sounded. Although Grabowski and Glasco have about ten feet of hair between them, drummer Nick Studen and lead guitarist Sean Beeson could have been a Little League coach and a fireman, respectively.

On Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Jeff Tweedy bellows about a girl who falls in love with one heavy-metal drummer, then another, then another. While I have no idea what girl he's referring to, I've no doubt she'd go for Studen. Mootown has a few timekeepers worth seeing no matter what band they're anchoring -- Kenny James and Wooly Bugger's Kenny Ortiz, the brothers K; Black Lamb's Vinny Levshakoff; former Rocket Ajax thrasher Craig Glisson; Leo 7 from Rubber Planet -- and Studen belongs at the top of that list. As for Beeson, he's a consummate professional who works a seven-string like Joe Satriani. Midway through, he spilled a beer on his amp that caused it to crackle and buzz like an old transistor radio; instead of ending the set abruptly, he muscled through to the finish. Good thing, because otherwise I might have missed Marilyn Taylor joining Corruption for a live rendition of "Godsend." It was the first time she'd performed the song with the band live, and she was nothing less than amazing.

As breathtaking as that performance was, though, I'd already experienced the most memorable moment of the night. Early on, when Corruption became engulfed in fog, Grabowski stepped up to the mike and made this request: "Whoever's running the fog machine, could you please stop?" No fog? Another metal stereotype up in smoke.

And that wasn't the only one to vanish during the evening. In the metal world, cliches collide like cars at an intersection where the traffic is directed by a cop with Tourette's, and parodies of the music often overshadow the art. But for most of their set, the members of Corruption smiled rather than grimaced. I'd also expected to see a Slayer-like pit scene, since this band's music could pull a soldier out of a peaceful man. But to my shock, there was no pit for this set. No violence. Just rabid, happy fans and a patty-melt-loving zombie.

Shows you what I know about the dark side.

For the record, Grabowski was right: Not only is Alone Corruption's finest release yet, but I'd argue that it rivals Cephalic Carnage's Lucid Interval as one of the best metal discs ever to emerge from Mootown. (Ironically, in addition to working with Corruption and Throcult, Alone's producer, Dave Otero, has worked with Cephalic Carnage.) The only album I've heard recently that sounds as good is Killswitch Engage's latest, End of Heartache, and that's a national release on Roadrunner.

Upbeats and beatdowns: This Thursday, June 3, Dialektix, Dojo, Five Style Fist and Optik Fusion Embrace bring their cerebral flow to the Bluebird Theater; Tard, New Ancient Astronauts and the Platte River Killers stake out the Larimer Lounge; and Pam Savage & Wake Up Call and Hazel Miller bring Hot Sounds to the Denver Pavilions. On Friday, June 4, Rubber Planet will drop its new disc, Out There, at Herman's Hideaway with Tequila Mockingbird, Love.45 and Salt Lake City's Royal Bliss; United Dope Front joins Cocktail Revolution at the Blue Mule; Hello Dave and Ordinary Poets are at the Soiled Dove; and Buckethead's Giant Robot throws out some serious sonic weirdness in a late show at the Fox Theatre.

On Saturday, June 5, at the Bluebird, the Gamits celebrate the release of their latest platter, Antidote, with Against Tomorrow's Sky, Ember and JV All*Stars from Lincoln, Nebraska. (The Gamits will also link up with the Right Aways for a double CD-release party at 32 Bleu in Colorado Springs on Friday, June 11; Against Tomorrow's Sky is on that bill, too.) Meanwhile, the Procussions blow back into Mootown for a series of shows at the Fox, warming up the stage for Jurassic 5 and the Crown City Rockers on Saturday, June 5 (21+), and Sunday, June 6 (all ages). Also on Sunday night, DJ Hurricane (Beastie Boys) stops by Rise. And finally, don't forget to turn to our new and improved In Da Club column for club news you can use.

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