Prizehog w/ Conetrauma, Acoustic Guillotine
Trumpet Blossom Cafe — Saturday, May 31 at 10 p.m. (Free)
Portland’s sludge-doom trio Prizehog will be playing at Trumpet Blossom this Saturday for a night of loud, wonderfully strange music. The show starts at 10 p.m. with Conetrauma and Acoustic Guillotine filling out the bill. Admission is free, though donations are encouraged.
Prizehog’s new record, Reunvent the Whool, is brilliantly weird, if you couldn’t tell from the name. There’s not much of a shortage of out-and-out weird musicians playing today, and to be fair, “weirdness” is more and more a crutch for any band that lacks serious musicianship. But whereas lots of bands that coast on their weirdness become almost non-descript due to their lack of reference points (The Shaggs and Jandek come to mind), Prizehog is more of a melting pot of influences, a kind of Frankenstein’s monster of musical impulses.
First and foremost, they’ve got a tuned-down sludgey doom metal style, with an abundance of drone guitars and plodding, threatening drums. But they’ve also got an ear for melodies, albeit twisted and fractured, that make some song sections feel like a pop song from an alternate universe. Yet again, there are moments where the trio gets downright twangy, sounding like a black metal band accidentally wound up at a country bar one night and ended up having a good time.
Add to it all an art-rock exuberance for new sounds that allows the group to utilize tools like vocoders and sci-fi synthesizers and a huge array of effects, and Prizehog ends up sounding like nothing else. Even if you’re not one for a noise-metal show, this is a recommended show for anyone who wants to see a band that clearly and effusively loves to make music.