In The Local this week, Nooga.com takes a look at some music from Naming Nations, Leticia Wolf, Husky Burnette and Mountain Creek House Fire. Who do you think should have a spot in The Local next week?
Naming Nations, “Quasar“
The music of progressive metal band Naming Nations is something of an oddity. It certainly maintains the façade of metal, but lurking just beneath its surface is a strangely melodic soul. Known for their ridiculously loud and ferocious live shows, the band is currently working on a new record with the hopes of translating that feral sense of rhythm to tape. Led by the howling vocals and glam theatricality of singer Greg Pickett, they roar through the music, leaving stages and instruments splintered in their wake. So while they’ve got enough stomp and churn for your casual metal head, there’s also something more for those eager to look just a little deeper.
For proof of their resistance to convention, just listen to their song “Quasar,” a whiplash ode to the joys of cosmic rock and the overwhelming urge to create. The video below was filmed at Ziggy’s and finds the band laying their metal rhythms on a waiting and welcoming audience. Guitar riffs are slung toward the heavens and drums are dismantled, but the song courses on, a roaring testament to the band’s dynamic interplay. Oddly enough, the band breaks out some definite prog tendencies and reshapes them into a metal context, and it works perfectly. They manage to instill a complexity and drive to the music without sacrificing any of its inherent force. And if this song is any indication, fans should be anxiously awaiting that new record.
Leticia Wolf, “Artifact of Love“
Most people would probably recognize Leticia Wolf from her current tenure in hard rock outfit The Dead Deads (and if you don’t, shame on you, and you need to listen to them right now), but what you might not know is that she also records under her own name-something she’s done since ’97. She segues away from the harder-edged sound of The Dead Deads and fashions something that feels slightly more intimate and confessional, but has no less bite and the occasional bit of venom. Although she slings striking riffs and thunderbolts in her day job, she calmly coaxes out an unnerving depth of emotion from her acoustic guitar in her own work.
She is currently working on new material for an upcoming solo album and planning a handful of tour dates to test out the new songs. One of the songs that will probably make the cut is called “Artifact of Love,” and it’s been circulating for some time, though she’s made some changes to it since it debuted. Based around Wolf’s expressive voice and the notes wrung from her guitar, the song is a detailed examination of a relationship that probably should never have happened. There’s a sense of regret and frustration over choices made, but through it all, she maintains a ferocious and steadfast belief in her own self-worth-a feeling that when the dust settles, she’ll be the one still standing.
Husky Burnette, “That Liquor“
Chattanooga native Brian “Husky” Burnette creates music that has its roots wound deep around the sounds of blues and classic rock ‘n’ roll. His songs pitch and turn as each fiery rhythm is laid bare and every Southern detail is explored. His voice is steeped in the history of his native state, a melodic rebellion born of a desire to create and share a collection of personal experiences. His voice is deep and rumbling, like a storm front rolling in over the mountains, but his voice is surprisingly light and malleable-although you can be sure there’s still enough punch to knock the air from your lungs.
To go along with the deluxe rerelease of his previous record, “Tales from East End Blvd,” Burnette and his label have shared a new video for album cut “That Liquor.” It’s a ferocious stomper that pairs a series of sweltering guitar riffs with Burnette’s inimitably brusque voice-it’s the perfect combination to convey this kind of bucolic, whiskey-soaked story. He seems born to sing this song, a rollicking, rough-around-the-edges burner that’s determined to kick in your door and share some hard-earned wisdom. His raw melodies and even rougher voice take delight in the seedier moments of life and in their communal conveyance. The song introduces us to the late-night juke joint atmosphere that Burnette and his music inhabit. It’s a place of smoky shadows and dangerous characters, and I can’t wait to go back.
Mountain Creek House Fire, “Sad Song“
Chattanooga-based Americana duo Mountain Creek House Fire seems to be a throwback to the simple but affecting sounds of artists such as Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris. Composed of Pattee Wilbanks and Robert Lovett, the band constructs tales of sorrow, love and heartache in the vein of numerous folk and country luminaries-their songs are gentle but pointed, calm but resolute. They shuffle along at a comfortable gait, drawing their audience close before revealing the beating heart of the music. It’s so casual and intimate that we might as well be sharing a campfire and an evening together with Wilbanks and Lovett.
On “Sad Song,” they strip everything down to the basics: just two guitars and a clear, aching voice. The song is a perfect way for the duo to introduce themselves; it’s inviting but holds some barbed sentiments that are born from the heartache that comes from a declining relationship. The track has a timeless feel to it-it could just as easily have been written and recorded in the ’60s or ’70s. And it’s in this sense of untouched gravity that it attains a sort of mythic status, an ageless hymn drawn from the history of the past 50 years of music. It’s a gorgeous piece of Americana simplicity, and they infuse the song with a resonating rhythm that’ll stay with you long after the song has ended.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.