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Misery Index, Phobia, Disfear Live Review

by Anuj

Misery Index, Phobia, Disfear with Bohemian Grove / Electro Quarterstaff / Strong Intention / Harlots Live @ High Five's (Columbus, OH) 5/26/2006

I had been pumped about this show for a while, especially the chance to see Misery Index, and Disfear too (if only because Tomas Lindberg of the legendary At the Gates was doing vocals for them). I assumed that, like most High Five shows, that doors would open at 9:00 and the bands would start coming on close to 10:00. Most High Five shows are like that. So there I was napping, when my friend called me at 8:15 saying that the opening bands had already started playing. I quickly realized that the sheer number of bands on the bill should have indicated to me that the action would've started earlier than usual. Cursing myself, I drove, and picked up my friend, rushed to the venue. We entered just as Electro Quarterstaff was playing their last song. I was bummed to miss out on Bohemian Grove (a local crust band), because I'd bumped into their vocalist a bunch of times on campus and told him I'd buy a demo and check out his band. So perhaps next time, Dylan! Anyways, I didn't catch enough of Electro Quarterstaff to pass an accurate judgment, but their instrumental stuff seemed interesting, perhaps maybe even more so with a vocalist though. Strong Intention took the stage and surprised me with their appearance. They're a crusty hardcore band from Baltimore who I later found out have been around since the early/mid-90's with changing lineups. They breezed through their set and were somewhat impressive. But not being a crust connoisseur, I can't say much about them. Harlots are a local band (from somewhere in Ohio) that I thought didn't really fit the bill well. Their somewhat interesting metalcore contrasted with the crustier punk that the others churned out. Their drummer was a beast though. He had a sweet Def Leppard tattoo on his chest which I couldn't figure out if it was meant to be ironic or not, as the average age of the band by my best estimate would be not more than 22 or 23.

Then came the band most people came to see (at least I did): Misery Index. While setting up, the guitarists regaled us of tales from their recent (and lengthy) European tour with Fear Factory. They said Burton and co. had a set of standard scripted lines that they said to the crown during every stop; standard stuff like "Raise your fists if you're having a good time!!!!" or "Let me see those horns!!!". On the last stop, the guitarists said, they said most of those lines during their opening set itself, leaving the members of Fear Factory pretty confused during their set. As their bassist took a little more time to figure out his setup, they continued with another tour story involving crashing for the night at a naked Frenchman's house (that's all I'm going to say!). Once everything was setup, they ripped into their set, and duly impressed every single attendee. They played some older stuff, as well as some tunes off their new full length "Discordia" (their first for Relapse). Had my financial situation been any better I would have gladly plunked down the cash for said disc. Their drummer especially (I have a thing for noticing drums more than anything else) was completely on-point. 

After about 35 minutes (too short!) of some well-executed deathgrind, Misery Index made way for Phobia. At this point me and my friends were pretty tired, so we stepped outside for a sitting break, and checked out the merch too. When we went back in Phobia was nearing the end of their set. Their brand of crusty (how many times have I used that word?!) grindcore paled in comparison to the band before them. They finally left the stage and made way for Disfear; it was past 1:00 by this time. 

As the Swedes set up their gear, we waited in anticipation ("There's Swedish royalty right there", indicated a friend of mine, of Tomas Lindberg). As they began to play, my instant reaction was disappointment. How did he go from the heights that At the Gates had scaled to a bad "˜crust-rock' band? The bandmembers didn't seem to gel together at all. They seemed more like a rag-tag team of players put together by Lindberg due to a sudden interest in crust-punk. I was surprised they were headlining, but then again they're probably getting a push just for being the new band of the old At the Gates singer. Me and my friend ended up leaving a few songs in, tired and hungry and disappointed. Over our late night dinner we discussed the awesomeness of Misery Index; she mentioned that some of the dudes had come into the record store she works at earlier in the day and talked to the owner about Spinal Tap. As I dropped her back and headed home, I figured that despite being let down by Disfear, Misery Index had pretty much made my night.

CD Info and Links

Bohemian Grove
Electro Quarterstaff 
Strong Intention
Misery Index 
High Five Bar

Preview and Purchase Misery Index's 'Discordia' online

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The Pit Your turn to get in the pit with your thoughts about this review and CD

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What do you think ?:

Posted by 4pU6cg90Vk:
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Posted by Anonymous:
Disfear is fantastic. Too bad you have bad taste.

Posted by MVaSXb4yDg:
yBEMKzg9VNaWzK N2wusGT1FDNWlz BNO6kJT2XbrppR

Posted by Hobo:
You son of a bitch! I'd kill to see bloody shows with that lineup. I'm a big fan of Disfear and Misery Index. Shame you didnt like Disfear - they are definately more crust, punk and rock than anything remotely similar to At The Gates... I mean you should know that if you've followed the ol' Tomas. I like their debut album... but I spose if you thought Tomas Lindberg was just gonna go do The Haunted or something along those lines, you're bound to be disappointed! The stuff he did with death/thrash group The Crown on Crowned Unholy is awesome, also checkout The Great Deceiver (meh) and Lockup (decent, not really downtuned enough) for some of his more recent stuff.


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