Review: Herds, Mother Orchis, Saviours brutalize Cactus Club

Herds ascended from the basement scene to brutalize the Cactus Club with its in-your-face brand of hardcore on Saturday.

Photo and story by Dan Agacki

It was a pummeling night. One heavy band after another, I was bludgeoned by sound. My equilibrium was assaulted by waves and I almost lost it a couple times. Thank god for earplugs, otherwise my ears would probably still be ringing.

Openers Mother Orchis (Milwaukee) stayed true to the bricks laid by the early Heavy Metal giants Black Sabbath, Pentagram, Captain Beyond, etc. The thick rich guitar tone drew you in with its warmth, while thundering drums and pulsating bass provided the musical backbone. Sure, you could say musical imitations of past sounds are often tossed off as pointless revivalism … follow too closely to established genre guidelines and you run the risk of being just another tribute act. But forget all the critical over-analysis; a good song is a good song. Mother Orchis knows this, and opened the show with a solid set.

Milwaukee‘s Herds ventured outside the basement scene to make a rare club appearance. They sound huge in cramped basements, so you can only imagine the noise they cranked out with everything amped up. They’re what I like to refer to as a tinnitus band: ridiculously loud with nonstop sound. The ambient pedal noise between songs really kept everything flowing. Their distorted bombardment reminds me of Gauze’s original goal to sound extremely fast without actually playing all that fast. On this night, the set was tight and to the point, just the way my short attention span likes it. Look for their debut EP on the Deer Healer label, and watch for a follow-up EP to be released on Fashionable Idiots in the near future.

Saviours from Oakland, Calif. closed the night in epic fashion. Their start was sudden: I expected some sort of intro, but it went from nothing to a complete wall of guitars in a blink of an eye. Their musicianship was pretty next-level stuff. It’s obvious why they’ve gotten bigger in recent years; these guys have major chops. Musically, they recall similar bands to Mother Orchis with an added dose of New Wave of British Heavy Metal. At an hour long, their set provided more than enough guitar solos to go around.


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