by Robert Bell
MUTANTS OF THE MONSTER MUSIC FESTIVAL
6 p.m. Downtown Music Hall. $8 Fri., $10 Sat. and Sun., $20 pass.
While this festival's name is a nod to Black Oak Arkansas, most of the bands on the bill draw more from the murkiness of the almighty Black Sabbath and the fury of Black Flag than the libidinous, three-guitar chooglin' of Jim Dandy and the boys. That said, there are sure to be some Southern-fried sounds in the mix.
But the Natural State connection alone isn't what makes it an appropriate title for this three-day shindig. It's a great title because the folks who make up Arkansas's thriving, diverse underground metal scene take a major cue from Dandy's wild-eyed, not-carin'-what-the-squares-think attitude in their approach to making music. They do it for the love of music and friendship and nothing else. About half the bands playing the inaugural MotM fest are from Arkansas, including headliners Rwake and Deadbird, which will play its album "The Head and the Heart" from start to finish Friday night.
This festival was organized by CT from Rwake and Samantha from Downtown Music Hall, and it will hopefully be first of many, according to CT. Friday night's lineup includes headliner Deadbird, Junior Bruce, Snakedriver, Laser Flames on the Great Big News, Placid Eclipse and Crankbait.
The Saturday and Sunday shows start at 1:30 p.m.
Saturday is headlined by Rwake, with sets from Rebreather, Sports/Pallbearer, Demonaut, Zucura, Mailbomber, The Currents, Dead I On and Holy Angell.
Sunday is Suplecs headlining, with Seahag, Rue, Hellbender, Brother Andy, Sound of the Mountain, John Calvin, Fallen Empire and Sheeple.