The Show: Wednesday, September 17, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Wreck Room

Nothing exceeds like excess. In the immortal words of Deep Purple lead singer Ian Gillan, captured on the group’s epochal live album Made in Japan, “I want everything louder than everything else.”

No one understands this better than High on Fire guitarist-singer Matt Pike. Before HoF coalesced in 1998, Pike was a member of stoner-rock legends Sleep, hailed by doom-metal aficionados as the hardest and heaviest band ever. After cutting a genre classic, Sleep’s Holy Mountain, a decade ago, that group scuttled a major-label contract by submitting a follow-up, Jerusalem, consisting of a single song — a 52-minute paean to pot, couched in biblical imagery. The album remained a highly desirable bootleg tape until its “official” release on The Music Cartel label in ’98.

The concept behind High on Fire was to start with Sleep’s crushing heaviness and make everything louder, harder, and faster. The proximate model could be D.C.-based stoner gods the Obsessed, who melded Sabbath drone and thump with punk energy. The momentum created by HoF’s debut full-length, The Art of Self-Defense, was temporarily stalled when the wheels came off the band’s label, Mans Ruin, in mid-2001. But the album has since been re-released on Tee Pee, and a new contract, with Relapse Records, soon materialized. Last year Surrounded by Thieves was released, and the group toured Europe and Japan extensively.

En route home to Oakland, Calif., from a tour with party-boy Andrew W.K. (think John Price plus Kid Rock minus Graham from Woodeye), the HoF boys will dock at the Wreck Room this weekend, with openers Yeti (who likely inspired the HoF song “The Yeti”) and bass-drum monolith Solomon. So plan ahead — pack earplugs and make an appointment with your chiropractor for Monday. — Ken Shimamoto

Sat at the Wreck Room, 3208 W 7th St, FW. 817-348-8303.


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