Posted in metal | music on August 30, 2011

by BBG

Mick Barr last night at Zebulon
Mick Barr

Three guitarists of amazing prowess stripped down, stepping away from the comfort of blast-beats, double bass, and rhythm guitar to play solo sets last night (8/29) at Zebulon. The trio, Mick Barr, Kevin Hufnagel and Andrew Hock, each performed separate sets that showed their true virtuosity on their instrument, touching on improv, clean guitar, and looping to create fascinating pieces out of their usual comfort zone. It was a night that captured a glimpse of the abilities of these performers that is seldom seen behind the wall of distortion.

Andrew Hock (Castevet) started off the night, mixing clean spanish style guitar with blasts of feedback noise, eventually transitioning to electric. It was here that he stylistically shifted, looping phrases with an e-bow that recalled the bouncy, bubbling rhythms of Growing with the added underlying textural washes of Stars of The Lid in moments.

Kevin Hufnagel (Dysrhythmia, Gorguts) followed, proving that the ukelele isn't just a kitschy instrument damned to Hawaiian tourists or Eddie Vedder's "newest discovery". Hufnagel wielded the four-string like a spanish guitar, playing sad yet powerful passages interjected by short and funny discussion with the crowd. Chops dont always equal good songwriting, but Hufnagel has the ability to shepherd his guitar wizardry into short yet memorable blasts of guitar frenzy.

Mick Barr (Krallice, Orthrelm) closed out the evening with his circular and powerful electric guitar compositions. Like a possessed hummingbird, Barr's maniacal riffing is both impressive and dumb-founding; his laser-accurate fretting had him sliding up and down the neck without missing a single note. Barr's style is almost percussive, with his picking hand thumping against the pickup as he ripped out jaw-dropping riffs that were jazzy with touches of death and black metal. After long stretches of what seemed like 128th-notes, Barr would interject jarring Fugazi-like start-stop rhythms and booming chords that could have stood against most doom bands today. If he didn't sound so good, you could easily sit back and take in the freak show aspect of it all; Mick Barr's abilities as a performer blur the lines between insanity and genius. But mostly genius.

Mick Barr's new solo LP Coiled Malescence will be released by Safety Meeting on September 13th. Listen to one song below...




Comments (18)

Amazing sets from all three.
Mick Barr blew my mind though...40+ minutes of shredding without break. Incredible...

Posted by Stefan | August 30, 2011 12:06 PM

Mick who?

Posted by Anonymous | August 30, 2011 12:32 PM

You probably meant to say 40+ minutes of no riffs.

Posted by Anonymous | August 30, 2011 12:33 PM

Wish I knew about this. Kevin and Mick are awesome guitarists.

Posted by Anonymous | August 30, 2011 12:42 PM

i'd hit it.

Posted by Anonymous | August 30, 2011 2:00 PM

i want to hufnagel mick barr's balls and have him krallice on my face.

Posted by Anonymous | August 30, 2011 2:01 PM

Noodle fest.

Posted by Anonymous | August 30, 2011 2:22 PM

sounds like mick needs to brush up on his spanish style guitar playing

Posted by Anonymous | August 30, 2011 2:39 PM

Here's some video from the show. Mick shredding!

Posted by Anonymous | August 30, 2011 2:47 PM

wow he can play sixteenth notes! big whoop.

Posted by Anonymous | August 30, 2011 2:59 PM

Hey 12:06
Stefan as in WFMU Stefan?

Posted by Anonymous | August 30, 2011 3:00 PM

Here's some audio of Mick from the Zebulon show:

Posted by Anonymous | August 30, 2011 3:07 PM

lots of weedly-weedly, no riffs.

Posted by Anonymous | August 30, 2011 4:54 PM

It's called syncopation. These guys lack it. Great music has it. I'm out.

Posted by Anonymous | August 30, 2011 5:19 PM

Wow these guys play lots of "notes" on "instruments" and assemble them into "music" with "ideas" that are new and "forward-thinking". I'm bored, time to read a blog and complain about something.

Posted by PeteMatthiessen | August 31, 2011 1:23 AM

I love you Pete.

Posted by A. | August 31, 2011 3:32 AM

noodle flavored sausage

Posted by Anonymous | September 2, 2011 8:41 PM

those aren't sixteenth notes, dorkwad. they're thirtysecond notes and they sound awesome.

there's plenty of synocopation and "riffs" there, but you guys are too fucking dumb and have too much shit in your ears to hear it, so why don't you just fuck off and go troll someplace else where somebody won't call your bullshit.

Posted by a sexy girl who likes prog | September 3, 2011 12:58 AM

Leave a Comment