Sounds of Animals Fighting

March 8, 2019

Ogden Theater, Denver, CO

 

The band name begs the question: what does the sound of animals fighting sound like? Turns out, a lot less gnashing of teeth, frantic screeches, and primal roars than you would expect. In fact, when the animals in question are a who’s who of underground screamo stars from the Aughts, the auditory concoction is reminiscent of soaring melodies paired with unconventional song structures rather than a mammalian melee out in Mother Nature. Comprised of various members of 00s emocore bands Chiodos, Saosin, Circa Survive, and the RX Bandits, the supergroup, the impassioned contingent was flanked by a multitude of lightbulbs onstage at the Ogden, with the inevitable first breakage occurring during dynamic opening tune “The Heraldic Beak of the Manufacturer's Medallion.” Frontman Anthony Green cradled one as he crooned and at times swung it over his head, coming within inches of hitting other musicians. Clearly, a band that likes to live dangerously.

Cuts from albums “Tiger and the Duke (2005)”, “Lover, the Lord Has Left Us... (2006)”, and 2008’s “The Ocean and the Sun” pleased longtime fans and it was evident that they hadn’t lost a step since last performing together under the SoAF moniker in 2014. Their eclectic catalog fluctuated from post-hardcore to noodling math-rock riffage to chillwave trip-hop beats to wailing plaintive howls from any number of vocalists and rhythm section backup singers. Their set traversed the sonic landscape from the atmospheric to the cathartic, the experimental to the explosive.

The Saddest Landscape and indie pop singer-songwriter Lorelei K primed the crowd for an eclectic evening before SoAF took the stage. Planes Mistaken for Stars, who relocated to Denver from Illinois two decades ago and became a cornerstone of this cow town’s hardcore punk scene, slayed through a set of fast n’ heavy favorites. The tour was well-curated and delivered something for everyone. Well, except the guttural grunts and grisly disembowelment suggested by the name, but there’s likely a Netflix nature doc featuring those, if that’s your thing.

by Steve Lustig

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