Hardcore metal supergroup Mutoid Man came through Philadelphia to stop at Underground Arts this past Friday, and performed an incredibly intense and enthusiastic set. The power trio was supported by tourmates Sweet Cobra and local noise punk band Bardus.
Bardus started the show with their quick, cut-throat sound and abrasive vocal deliveries. The grungy set often moved from sections of harsh shouting into long instrumental jams that were equally as destructive, while altogether creating a feeling of anger and dread. Sweet Cobra sounded like a calculated mix of grunge and hardcore, and their set was made up of dissonant guitar riffs, a mix of muted and shouting vocals that were buried in the mix, and hefty, clamorous instrumental moments. Their sound was most notable through the plethora of riffs and use of pedals to achieve some strange effects, while each song contained an undeniable strength and forcefulness. Both supporting acts put on intriguing sets, and got the small but excited crowd at Underground Arts even more stoked for Mutoid Man.
Too often when you see a technically-savvy hardcore band live, the members are stoic on stage while the crowd is going apeshit. On Friday night during Mutoid Man‘s set, the exact opposite occurred. The majority of the audience stood still or banged their heads as they kept their eyes locked on the band, seemingly in disbelief that anyone could shred that well live. Not only did Mutoid Man perform their incredibly technical set of metal with precision, but they did so with an extremely jovial attitude.
Guitarist Steve Brodsky and bassist Nick Cageao poured huge, unrelenting riffs out of their amplifiers, while Ben Koller drove songs with his innovative and accomplished style of drumming. Each member of the band was absolutely first-rate with their respective instrument, to the point where they could enthusiastically blaze through tracks and still find time to playfully give each other the finger in between the music’s craziest moments. The band was truly in good spirits; Brodsky endearingly referred to the crowd as ‘mutants’ as he introduced their songs, Brodsky and Cageao switched instruments at one point, Cageao stole Koller’s seat when he got up to stretch, and they pulled out their insane cover of The Animals’ “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” Altogether they put on a topnotch and entertaining set, but possibly the most impressive thing about Mutoid Man is that vocalist/guitarist Steve Brodsky can pull off such a wide range of vocal duties while not missing a beat hammering away on his axe. Overall, Mutoid Man proved they are one of the most talented metal bands around, and more importantly that they are having the most fun doing it.
Below, check out a slideshow of photos and a clip from the show.
Photos by Jay Breslin