The power trio Distilled Tongues put together a hell of a rock show with Bonehawk, Ladyship Warship, and Electric Huldra at the New Dodge Lounge in Hamtramck.
Distilled Tongues CD Release Party
Ever since hearing the Distilled Tongues self-titled EP, I’ve been looking forward to hearing them live. When I saw that they would be having a CD release party at the New Dodge Lounge in Hamtramck, I was thrilled. When I saw the lineup including Bonehawk, Ladyship Warship, and Electric Huldra, I was ecstatic. Let me tell you why and then we’ll get into the show.
Why Is Chuck Stoked About Distilled Tongues, Bonehawk, Ladyship Warship, and Electric Huldra?
Inquiring minds want to know right? I won’t belabor the point, but If you’ve been following Life In Michigan or our podcast Fans With Bands, you know we love music. While it’s great to see national acts such as Clutch or The Black Crowes, there is a special joy in supporting the local scene. I think there is a meme somewhere, but the adage that there wouldn’t be a national band without first being a local band is spot on.
There are two things that had me stoked for this show. First, is the diversity of music. Each band on tonight’s bill offers an intriguing and unique perspective on rock music. It’s a delicious smorgasbord of rock. Second is the communion. Sharing the excitement of live music with my music friends and family is life-affirming. Especially given the long hiatus due to the pandemic, seeing these people tonight plastered a permanent smile on my face. Oh, and I nearly forgot the bonus reason for being stoked, it is Mike Hopper’s (guitar – Distilled Tongues) birthday. I love that fucking guy. Alright, enough philosophy and mushy bullshit, let’s dig into this show.
A good crowd is on hand as Electric Huldra hits the stage. The keyword here is hit. They come out swinging for the fences. Blasting mighty riffs with ease, Electric Huldra roar. I’ve been a fan of the band since first seeing them at Fuzz Fest 5. It is a treat to see that they emerged from the pandemic unscathed and ready to rock. Bobby Mark’s voice is as brilliant as his guitar. The hammering super highway grooves from Troy Hufford (bass) and Dominic Elder (drums) light up the New Dodge. They score bonus points with solid covers of ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Rock Bottom” by UFO.
Kristin and Eric from Ladyship Warship are on fire. Their fusion of raw roots rock and punk with a dose of psychedelic bliss is the perfect catalyst. Ladyship Warship is another band I fell in love with at Fuzz Fest 5. While their show a few weeks ago at the Cadieux Cafe rocked, I think they sound even better tonight. The pulse of their music beats a hair stronger and the serrated edge of the songs is a bit more cutting. The trippy drone of “Abyss Stares Back” is heaven. The other highlight is the steamrolling “Lost Our Minds”. Brilliant!
Every time I hear Bonehawk, I thank my friend Erik. He saw them jam in Hell years ago and said “You definitely need to check these guys out”. I’m glad I listened. I believe this is Bonehawk’s first show since the start of the pandemic. It is also the first live show with the retooled line-up. Matt Helt (guitar/vocals) and Nate Cohn (drums) are now joined by Cam Mammina on guitar and Matt Smith on bass.
You’d never guess this is Bonehawk’s first gig in 18 months. They are loaded for bear. Bonehawk fired off thundering riffs led by a massive assault on drum and bass. Their trademark harmonized guitars ring true and clear. The heaviness of the music is celestial. While I love “Nomad”, hearing “Iron Mountain” is the pièce de résistance.
Experiencing the Distilled Tongues live was everything I hoped it would be. The Distilled Tongues are creating a scintillating blend of hard rock, metal, and progressive rock. A reimagining of the heaviness of Sabbath, the progressive edge of Purple or Captain Beyond, and the relentless groove of Earthless. Being able to finally witness this vital music live at the New Dodge is exquisite.
The Distilled Tongues kick into gear with a new song called “Red Planet” which is a monster jam. The execution is tight with the power of the almighty riff surging through all of us at the New Dodge. The mark of a great power trio is depth of sound. When Mike Hopper (guitar) soars up the fretboard in a solo, Jeremy Johnson (drums) and Sean Cecil (bass) maintain the monumental wall of sound.
The energy of the songs from the Distilled Tongues debut EP played live is captivating. As much as I dig the songs “Living Like Your Dying”, “In Your Veins”, “Backslide”, and “A Witness” on the recording, they absolutely rock live. The guitar seamlessly transitions from states of rage to grace and back. Sean and Mike’s vocals reflect the emotions within the music. The drum and bass physically hold you to ignite a steady flow of dopamine. The stimulating effect of the Distilled Tongues causes their set to flash by in the blink of an eye. I felt invigorated and privileged to have this experience.
There are many more pictures of Electric Huldra, Ladyship Warship, Bonehawk, and Distilled Tongues in the galleries. This night of music left me buzzing with elation for days. Check out each band’s social media so you can experience them live. If you were at the show with me, leave a comment and share what you dug about the show.
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