Because I hate haircuts and wear black t-shirts a lot of the time, people assume I know a lot about metal. In truth, my favorite metal bands are Dethklok and Children of Bodom. Calling myself a metal expert would be practically equivalent to somebody declaring themselves an authority on punk when they’re mostly just really into Green Day.
Case in point: I don’t understand the difference between black metal and death metal. Friday at the Summer Slaughter Tour in Worcester, I was confused by talk of the unfortunately-named OCEANO’S penchant for breakdowns and indifference towards melody qualifying them as “tech metal” not “deathcore” like it says on their wiki page. Oceano themselves especially upset this kind of burly dude who screamed to no one in particular about his ambition to “fuck every god” and cover them with his “nawt.” I later deduced that “nawt,” in this instance, meant “nut,” as in ejaculate fluids. I don’t understand that dude’s problem with Oceano. I wasn’t head over my heels for them either, but they seemed to share his views on the whole Jesus thing.
Being the sort of person who already knew how all the sub-genres diffuse would’ve made it easier to sit through all 10 bands packaged into SUMMER SLAUGHTER 2011. Total brutality doesn’t seem so brutal when stacked alongside other versions of total brutality. I suppose anybody could make the same complaint about any festival where every band plays a similar style. I doubt anything falling outside the metal umbrella would have flown with this crowd – though they were about as well behaved as they could’ve gotten away with without being a bunch of pussies. (At least for as long as I was there.)
As far as outstanding aural consequences, the soul incinerating evil of the dapperly attired FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE and the searing grindcore of DYING FETUS handedly stood out from the pack. I’m not kicking myself for skipping headliners the BLACK DAHLIA MURDER. I kind of regret not sticking around for WHITECHAPPEL. But, like any tourist, I was mainly interested in novelty value. I came to see POWERGLOVE and left promptly after they played.
The kneejerk thing I find myself wanting to write is something like, "If you think Powerglove is just a novelty goof act, think again, ‘cause these dudes fuckin’ shred."... however, Powerglove play instrumental metal covers of theme songs from cartoons and vintage video games.
They dress as though they traveled back in time from a renaissance faire in the future. On Friday, they decorated the stage with a giant sharp-toothed doughnut (possibly intended to resemble the doughnuts from the nightmare level in the old Simpsons arcade game) and a big sinister Venus Flytrap (maybe a nod to the piranha plants in Super Mario Brothers?). After starting with their transcendent version of the ‘90s X-Men show anthem, bassist Nick Avila announced they had arrived to “Fuck with your childhood.” That is a very novel thing to say.
It is also novel when a metal band tosses candy into their audience, and people slam dance with gusto to a song about Pokemon. These are also things that happened. The band tossed out oversized inflatable toy swords and hammers, encouraging engagements in mostly-harmless battles for supremacy. Festival time constraints mandated a tragically brief 30 minute set, but by the time Powerglove were wrapping it up with “Mario Minor,” a mighty circle pit had formed around two combatants pummeling each other with ruthless abandon.
Considering all this goofy novelty stuff, Powerglove can be accurately described as a novelty goof act. But they’re an amazingly awesome novelty goof act. Unfortunately, the Palladium’s policy regarding small digital recording devices (they’re opposed to them) prevented me from shooting any video. But we jacked a few seconds from someone else's illegal practice up top, so yeah, enjoy Oceano.