1994/07/28, Atomic Music Hall, Athens, GA (USA)

Sweet Rooster, Chokebore, Hammerhead

I'll begin with a conclusion that this was the best show I've seen since Milkmine and Mule earlier this year. Don't let this be diminished by the fact that I haven't had time to see another show in between times. I would have made time if any band with potential had played locally, but the music scene in Athens has been rather dry of late. However when it rains, it pours. Rodan played down the street the same night, and I had to miss 'em.

Now, about Sweet Rooster. I hope they never make it, because they'd give Athens-grown music a bad name. Chokebore was perfect. I couldn't get enough. They played some of their well known favorites like "Soundcheck" and "I Like You 'Cause You Dance Sort Of". Unfortunately their 45 minute set was over all too quickly. I don't really have words to describe their kick, the slight weirdness of their music or the energy of their show that made them the best band of the night.

Hammerhead, whoa! The Rollins look-alike on drums was the most amazing skin-beater I have ever seen. I stood enthralled watching him for several minutes before the magnitude of the rest of the music struck me. Overlaying the percussion was was a continuous heavy bass riff, violent guitar chords and occasional vocal assault. The sheer god-power of Hammerhead's music cannot be overemphasized. Wave after wave of music crashed against me, eventually pushing me back from the stage and into the protection/comfort of the crowd. But their dominating music sought me out there, hammered at my head, whipped me into a weak and quivering state, crushed my spirit and trampled my soul into the beer-and-ash-encrusted concrete floor. I crawled up onto a bar stool and lay there sprawled, head bowed in submission, unable to lift my eyes to meet theirs, unable to resist as their music repeatedly pounded into my being, until eventually, with their play-list spent, they left me for dead.

George Vacek

George's Music Reviews