Seven Extraordinarily LOUD Live Bands (and Jucifer)
There's something about LOUDNESS that's deeply appealing to fans of rock 'n' roll, especially when it comes to a live performance. The visceral shock, the days of tinnitus... it all coheres into something that transcends a recording and delineates the difference between headphones at home and headbanging at the club. It makes the audible tactile, and there's certainly something that appeals to the guys (yes, almost always guys) who go for numbers and quantifiable measurements. How many amps? How many decibels? How much blood poured from your ears?
So get thee to the Rhythm Room tomorrow night if loudness is your thing, as Jucifer's coming through town. The wife/husband duo of Amber Valentine and Ed Livengood got their start years ago in Athens, Ga., but moved out of that town and into an RV years ago in order to nomadically bring rock 'n' roll to the masses, playing in front of walls of Marshall stacks, blowing out windows, walls and roofs with their cataclysmically sludgy metal.
About Jucifer: the band is a sight to behold. Ed beats the shit out of his drums, putting Animal from the Muppets to shame. He is a tornado of sweat and force. Amber has fancy wigs and fancier mod skirts and minidresses. For what it's worth to those of you who still say "sexy babe" and "indie rock", she was the runner-up in Playboy.com's "Sexiest Babes of Indie Rock," beat out only by Neko Case herself. She is a tornado of style and fury.
If you can't make it out to the show, just imagine yourself there, or check out this list, in no particular order, of other bands whose shows could've taken down Jericho. (Fair warning: recordings don't do the live set justice.)
AC/DC, The Who, Deep Purple, KISS and even Blue Cheer all have claimed the title of Loudest Band, but we know that Lemmy & Co. are the true champs from the era where heavy metal and hard rock still overlapped.
The Scottish post-rock auteurs create intricate, anthemic tunes on album. Live, they're more like a gale-force wind blowing through a club. You can listen, sure, but it's better to just find a seat near the back of the venue and EXPERIENCE.
3. Pan Sonic
Freaky Finnish outsider electro duo Pan Sonic isn't about pummeling as much as it is about grinding and pulping. The guys reportedly subjected themselves to 10 hours in a garage of extremely low-frequency, high-decibel noise as performance art, and have used sound equipment similar to what police use to disorient crowds.
New York's metal gods reigned in the '80s, going whole hog into their whole Norse mysticism schtick. The result was a legion of fans who swear by their volume, and the band helped set the template for tons of metal acts to follow.
Swans could be pretty monolithic when they wanted to, combining industrial influences with post-rock grandeur and cinematic sounds, especially once Jarboe got promoted from friend to the band to keyboardist and vocalist. Her brutality complemented Michael Gira's tunefulness like few others could.
6. Dinosaur Jr.
Bandleader J Mascis may look like your nebbish grandma these days, but the dude's eardrums must be made of the same metal that constitutes his silvery locks. Here's a master class in how to get knocked out at a live show.
7. My Bloody Valentine
Those who caught this band's U.S. tour from 20 years ago still swear by its sheer volume to this day. One section of "You Made Me Realise" maintained one gut-churning chord for 10 minutes, and frontman Kevin Shields took pleasure in watching the crowd's physical reactions to the sounds.