by Lisa Morgan
When you walk into the Red Barn this weekend, the air will be so heavily laden with metal you may need a blow torch and a band saw to make your way to the bar. With a line up as ponderous as “Destroying the Desert”, a county wide advisory should be sent out: “Not your mother’s metal”. Metal-craftsmen, Remnants of Man, Form of Retaliation, Throw the Goat and Contortion are more likely to incinerate the Barn than merely rock it.
Leading the assault is the newly infused San Bernardino based band, Contortion. Don’t try listening to these guys on your stupid little iPhone… it’s likely to blow up in your face and catch your hair on fire. Break out the woofers and the tweeters and experience the dizzying riffs keeping incredulous time with the humanly impossible tight rhythm section. Idiot Box will own any hard core metal fan at the first roar of lead singer, Brian Stone’s surreal melodic, throat scorching rant. With his dark haunting, face shredding vocals a top pulse altering riffs and rhythms, this band offers a musical dialog of pure intelligent rage.
Though the band in its current configuration and delivery is fairly new, the decade of experience together and apart brings this band back together (with a few personnel changes) stronger and more intrinsic than before. Brian, having traded So Cal for Hawaii, got drawn back to the mainland with a call to play guitar for the well-known band, Mower. After touring with them for a couple of years, Brian reunited with his previous drummer, Nick Jackson for an annual show. This was a show they and the previous Contortion members rarely missed as it raises funds for the son of their original bass player who was killed. With Mower on what was to be a permanent hiatus, Brian and Nick revamped the band with new players and new material with Moses Tovar on guitar and Brett Reynolds on bass. Impressed with themselves and the new music, Moses and Brett were gungho about getting bookings. “I was hesitant. I used to be called the ‘Band Nazi’ before because once I get my mind set I don’t let anything stand in my way,” said Stone. “I was a bit guarded, but their enthusiasm became my enthusiasm. We recorded an album that was mixed and mastered by Darian Rundall. It was the most money we ever spent but it was worth it. The album released in May and we’ve been getting more and more calls for shows. We’re finishing out the year with a bang with 6 shows, then we’re going into the studio again. We’ll try to release a new EP by February or March.”
Contortion in its previous existence was nominated in the Coachella Valley Music Awards for “Best out of Town Band” and “Best Heavy Metal Band”. They also placed 9th of 700 bands trying out for the popular MTV show, “Battle for Ozzfest”. The band has received regular air play on KCAL 96.7FM and continues to have air play on KCXX 103.9FM. “We work our asses off,” shared Brian. With their skill level and work ethic, there’s no telling what this band will accomplish in the months to come.
Their message: “We are insurrectionists,” states Brian. “The system needs to be torn down and rebuilt and we’re letting everyone know that. We are all being turned into slaves to a machine that is broken. Our system is failing us. Catch 23 is reflective of this ideology. It’s about media manipulation… media being entertainment not the truth. It’s a mind control substance. Dreaming Alone is our number one song encompassing the message in its entirety. ‘Sink in your teeth into a live grenade, you’re all enslaved.’ We tell everyone they need to live autonomously. Think for yourself.”
The band has also been reviewed in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, as well as in Skinnie Magazine and Fast Times Magazine, and Zero Tolerance (UK). Contortion has played sold out shows at the Whiskey A-Go-Go, The Roxy, House of Blues, Key Club, The Viper Room and The Knitting Factory. The band has opened for Testament, Ankla, F-5 ( with Dave Ellefson of Megadeth), Dry Kill Logic, Overkill, Bleed The Sky, Satyricon, Six Feet Under, Hemlock, Prong and Dragonlord, to name a few.
This is a show no local metal fan will want to miss. Leave the whiners at home. This is intelligent, musical thunder and the storm will shatter all your illusions. To check out Contortions music, go to their website: Contortionmetal.com or on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ContortionTheBand. Better yet, get your ass to the show.