Orthrelm with Brain Transplant and the Commons

Wednesday, June 5; Lemmons Basement Bar

Well, it turns out that the new basement bar at Lemmons and the fabled basement bar at the old Cicero's have even more in common than undergroundness and free pizza for the bands: Lemmons' booker, Sunyatta Marshall, has so far displayed an admirable (and all-too-rare) musical open-mindedness, bringing in not only a wide spectrum of local acts but touring bands as varied as All's weepy country side project Drag the River and Austin, Texas, electronic indie rockers the Octopus Project.

Marshall's latest adventurous booking is New York underground duo Orthrelm. Composed of guitarist Mick Barr and drummer (and onetime St. Louisan) Josh Blair, the band, whose latest CD, Asristir Vieldriox, is out on cool noise/punk label Troubleman Unlimited, plays an intense and unpredictable style of mostly instrumental music that should appeal to a wide variety of weird experimental-indie-rock fans. With minute-long noise bursts as heavy and metal as the Fucking Champs, as "out there" as John Zorn and as spastic as the Locust, Orthrelm can pile blistering guitar leads onto free-jazz freak-outs over chopped-up punk-rock drumming and still make it sound like music, not self-indulgent wankery. Sure to confuse, delight and energize, Orthrelm should fully satisfy St. Louisans fond of challenging music -- at least until Grand Ulena sees fit to play here again.

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