The Brass Monkey is deceiving. You could drive right by it without ever discovering it was there. Surrounded by coffee shops, grocery stores, and doctor’s offices, the unassuming strip mall doesn’t seem like a likely candidate for an industrial metal revival, but in fact that is exactly what it offered a motley crew of music lovers on Wednesday night when they brought Powerman 5000 to Ottawa.
Featuring six bands for a reasonable price, and a fine collection of beer on tap for anyone on a budget, the venue transformed into the perfect location for goth and glam metal enthusiasts.
One of the standouts tonight was Knee High Fox, who’s spicey front woman brought flavour, sex appeal and vocal range to their Canadian homecoming. With such lines as “To ketchup chips, Coffee Crisps and Tim Horton’s, we love you Canada,” the statuesque front-woman had little trouble endearing herself and her band to the crowd of bandits in Nepean. Songs like the hyper-sexualized “Lolita” only further kept the audience on our toes.
Death Valley High brought the audience back to the brink of 1997 with their Marilyn Manson-esque, drum heavy industrial breakdowns and catchy hooks, while headliners Orgy delivered on their reputation of metal that was both emotive and heavy handed.
Truly though, it would be Powerman 5000 that would steal the show. With a mixture of recognizable hits, new singles, poor attempts at speaking French, humour, and some classic cover songs, they had the room dancing from the word go, and did not let go until the bittersweet ending of their one hour performance. Some bands on any bill, including tonight, there is always someone who can’t wait for them to end. There wasn’t a person in sight tonight who wasn’t wishing Powerman could keep going.
With such classic covers as Radiohead’s “Creep,” the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated” and an ode to Rage Against The Machine, the band made themselves palpable to anyone in the room who might not otherwise know their material. The act of handing out Timbits to audience members only furthered sealed their fate as a must see band that is as fresh today as they were at the turn of the century. No doubt, they were the evening’s standard bearers, and only made the experience more memorable for those of us who remember the brief moment in history where Orgy and Powerman were the be all and end all of the nu-metal era.
However, that Tim Horton’s is trash. No hot food after 10pm? How am I supposed to warm my desolate soul?
Until next time, demons and ghouls.