Evil Army

The Howlin' Wolf

February 03, 2005

Before the soundman fixed a drum mic, Evil Army moved through their set with a hurried pace that complemented their Speed Metal. After the sound problem was solved, the lead singer/guitarist, wearing a Mohawk and a black wife-beater undershirt, took a swig of water and the opportunity to speak to the audience for the first time. I guess I shouldn't have expected any small talk. In keeping with Evil Army's martial and fist throwing approach, the singer said thanks, told the crowd about the t-shirts in the back and quickly introduced the band's last song.

Memphis trio Evil Army played enjoyable music Thursday night at The Howlin' Wolf. The singer screamed with righteous anger like he had a manifesto under his arm. He employed flash chord changes, and he also espoused variety with a few blazing solos. The drummer kept a tight, straight beat, but he threw in some smart fills that made the music more interesting. It didn't matter that the screams and the pace were constant throughout the set. Evil Army was good at their job--playing minute to a minute and-a-half thrashers. AC/DC played the same song over and over again, but their fans didn't care.

The funny thing was that sometimes I didn't know when the songs began and ended. There was overabundant 1-2-3-4 hi-hat signaling, and I know they weren't playing fifteen second songs, so I can only guess they were performing swifty interludes or codas. This uncertainty kept my attention focused on Evil Army.

The band was the first of four to play, but they still got thirty people spread out across the floor. By the end of the set, people in the crowd were throwing fists, headbanging lightly, and screaming affirmations at Evil Army.

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