One Eyed Jacks

October 22, 2006

Totimoshi is one of those bands that blurs the line between hard rock and metal. They're loud, but they're not belligerent about their attack. They play some of the heaviest riffs around, but they don't play especially fast. And a track on their new album employs a violinist. I like to say they're a mix between Melvins and High on Fire.

Because they're from Oakland, their anti-American politics remind me of Rage Against The Machine.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in One Eyed Jacks Sunday night were the doom cymbals up on stage. These friggin' things must have been 22 inches in diameter. I learned from watching drummer Luke Herbst later in the night that the doom cymbals are used not because they're bigger but because of the wash that comes from even lightly striking a cymbal that big.

More than anything, Totimoshi's sound was angry and ominous. It was reminiscent of other stoner metal from their area, but vocalist/guitarist Tony Aguilar made the band stick out. Like Matt Pike, he was semi-virtuostic in his playing, and his vocals were the throatiest of the throaty. I could feel the phlegm, and I could hear how dry his voice was when he screamed. It's not easy to keep that throaty thing going. I tried it. It's no fun.

Bassist Meg Castellanos was an obviously seasoned player. She was pretty busy, but in the way that makes metal fun. She locked in with Herbst at points to give the music extra kick.

Did I say the show was fun? It's really great to see a talented metal band and get the Led out.

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