Thursday, October 22, 2009


It's kinda ironic that just as the Fort Worth heavy band Caddis is releasing their self-titled CD -- after four years and change of existence as a band, and two years of handing out CD-R copies of the disc -- they're also going on hiatus due to one of their guitarists becoming a daddy (bassist Ben Schultz told me when he gave me the disc, but I forget whether it was Matt Thomas or Nathan Morris; I suck). But as we all know, good bands don't have to break up; they just don't have to play all the time. And anybody who thinks that playing thunderous metal and being a daddy are mutually exclusive just doesn't know that much about metal -- or daddies.

Caddis is cut from the same mold as bands like Sleep, High On Fire, and Mastadon. They play a brand of metal that draws from the wellspring of '70s hard rock, avoiding the operatic excesses of some of the genre. When the guitarists sing, they sound angry and aggressive, but they use their own voices, avoiding the Cookie Monster register that makes a lot of "extreme" music just sound silly. When Thomas and Morris solo, it flows organically from the songs' rifferama and serves to release the tension in the songs, rather than flaunt anybody's chops -- although the several acoustic interludes that provide a respite from the feedback maelstroms also display their instrumental finesse.

Drummer Andrew Tipps, who moonlights with Schultz in Magnus, is living proof that Art Blakey's dictum -- the head Jazz Messenger having once reputedly said, "If the drummer's not the best musician in the band, it's not a jazz band" -- is also applicable to metal. With Tipps handling the frequent tempo shifts, from roiling triple time to a cracking "punk polka," the band's pummeling riffs, replete with unison bass and down-tuned guitar, sound all the more impactful. These guys sound like they mean it. Here's hoping we hear more from them soon.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks Ken! Just to clarify--not on hiatus, just taking a break for a couple of weeks. Every member except me has kids (ranging from 2yrs to 12yrs old) and we've been playing since April 2005 with no down time. The little break is simply because everyone is extremely busy right now with school and work and a few of us needed to have a little extra time to spend at home. I'm sure we'll be back at it full force by the beginning of 2010.

Thank you again! Great talking to you the other night.

If anyone happens to be interested in getting a copy of the cd, please send me an email at the following address or come see a show. .


11:09 AM  

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