Killing Of Mind
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Killing Of Mind

Band Metal Rock


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The best kept secret in music


"REVIEW OF 1-22-04"

Review By,
Kel Carlisle

Review Band Names: Stomach - Killing of Mind
With Full Throttle - Avidian

Venue: B&Js Bar and Restaurant
Date: 01-22-2004

I walked into B&J’s Bar and Restaurant in Windsor, just north of Santa Rosa, to the duplicitous sense of déjà vu. “I HAD BEEN HERE BEFORE”, a strange voice told me from deep within, until I realized – I had been here before! The venue used to be Young’s Chinese and American Cuisine, where I had scored eggrolls and mu-shu pork many a time. Well, now it was a musical venue, and I considered that an upgrade.

On the menu this evening was a lineup of four local acts – Avidian, Full Throttle, Killing of Mind, and Stomach. I knew several people who were friends and fans of Stomach, but the rest were unknown to me. With open ears and open mind, I threw myself into the fray – not that much was fraying at 9:00pm, when I arrived. Avidian were launching off their sound check as I checked out the room. I hadn’t been to this side of the sprawling, 100 yard complex during my previous visits.

I was impressed. The ownership had done a nice job converting the place for live music – hard wood floors, overhead spotlights, plenty of space. You could easily fit 150 people in here, I thought. I wandered to the far side of the building, to the bathrooms, to make some notes in my trusty recorder before things got too loud.

As it turns out, it got too loud in just a couple of minutes. From the opening tests of the guitar, it sounded as though the band were just on the other side of the wall from me. No way, I thought. This was the OPENER. Every band will try and play louder than the first, and by the third act everything will be pegged!

Well, I was wrong. There was plenty more volume left for the later bands. So much so that it compromised the entire evening. But I digress…

Avidian came up first, to an eager crowd of 30 or so, a decent pull for a Thursday night in Windsor. A power trio, they were considered the “softest” of the acts for that night. Described as “Creed-ish” by Scott Ferrara, Mastermind of the night’s events, that description proved to be spot-on. Growly vocals, traceable back from Creed, to Stone Temple Pilots, to Pearl Jam. Their songs relied heavily on another Seattle tradition, the patented Nirvana pattern of “Quiet Part / Loud Part / Solo / Loud Part”. Their equipment was touring quality, and their showmanship was entertaining, particularly the flailings of their bass player, who was duded-up in a tie and slacks, in contrast to the contemporary snow-boarder fashion of the lead singer. A lack of experience showed through an otherwise polished set on one occasion, when the frontman had to start a tune over due to shaky fingers. But their mission was accomplished – nobody left, more people were piling in, and the appetites were whetted for the next act.

Full Throttle took the stage next, and set the bar for the rest of the night. Their energy was undeniable, their grooves tight and vicious. Consisting of two singer/rappers backed by a traditional drum / bass / guitar lineup, these kids knew what they were doing. No lack of polish on any of their songs, and certainly no lack of stage presence, this was an experienced group of musicians who just happened to express themselves with the Funk-You attitude of rap-rockers like Infectious Grooves, Suicidal Tendencies, POD, and Bizkit. Definitely worth checking out, particularly if their set is longer than 30 minutes.

At about this time, things took a turn for the unexpected. Sure enough, Full Throttle came on louder than Avidian, and Avidian had started out louder than God. It turns out that a nearby housing development had also been able to hear the fun, and Windsor’s Finest were called out to inform the club owners that the music had stop by Midnight, or there would be repercussions. So now – SCRAMBLE! – it’s 10:30pm, with 2 bands left to play, including your headliners! Keep it short, and get that damn equipment off the stage!

Killing Of Mind had plenty to try and outdo, after the stellar performance of Full Throttle, and they came out swinging. With rumors of Police intervention in the air, it would have been very easy to lose the crowd (did I mention it was a Thursday Night?!?), but not with KOM stepping forward, grabbing you by the neck, and shoving a great set of original music down your gullet. Usually it takes a few minutes for a band to warm up their stage show, but with not tonight. From the first note, the entire band was alive and writhing, flying around, without missing a note. Their frontman, Paul, let loose his mop of curly hair and got right up into the crowd, which was still 50-strong. While his vocal style isn’t particularly unique, he has a great range from low and melodic to ragged and shouting, bringing to mind Korn and Tool. On guitar, Russell is a God of Chunk. In a “heavy” group, it’s very hard for one guitarist to maintain melody and a haze of distortion, but on this night the task was met and handled well. Paul, on bass guitar, was equal parts solidity and sideshow. His lines are the anchor from which both the guitar and vocal melodies drift, while his on-stage lashings make you hope he has good medical insurance. Niall, on drums, is hard to describe, but the band uses the term “Aussie sensation”. “Tight” doesn’t capture the consistency with which he plays, and while he looks extremely busy (a Tasmanian Devil sort of blur behind the symbols), he does not overplay the kit, filling in naturally while leaving space for Russell’s spaced-out chops, and bringing the entire dynamic down for the quieter vocal workings. All in all, a great set from a very talented bunch. Look for an in-depth interview soon.

And so the night began to wind down, just as it should have been triumphantly building toward climax. KOM put out so much that the crowd was fairly spent, and by this time, it was 11:15 on the aforementioned Thursday Night. Only the die-hards, the true fans, remained, and their hunger was untouched by the feast offered throughout the evening. Only one thing would satiate that hunger: STOMACH.

Founding members Kent Varty, Jason Brentwood, and Kurt Houser are all staples of the Sonoma County music scene. Each have been members of other high-profile projects, and their artistic longevity has garnered them the respect of elder statesmen. Stomach was finalized with the addition of Judd Mason, a transplant from the Topeka, KS area. As with most artistic types, Judd is talented in many forms of media, which lends a cohesive identity to the band, from their flyers to their stage props. Equal parts Picasso and Jim Morrison, Neil Young and R. Crumb, Judd brings a sense of art to metal not usually found outside of abstract sculpture. Together, their sound is dense, assaulting, leaving no crack to escape through. Vocally reminiscent of Johnny Rotten and Jello Biafra, their rhythm is pounding, industrial in tone but punk in tempo. Not to mention that Kurt Houser plays a custom-built 9 string bass guitar, and that’s just pretty damn cool, while certainly overkill.

Overkill may be the best term to describe Stomach. As they took the stage to play for the faithful fifteen that remained, they poured in on as though they were playing the Coliseum. No taking the foot from the pedal, no slacking off. Their show is controlled by switch, not fader. On or Off, but no in-between.

For fans of super-hardcore, YOU MUST SEE STOMACH. Song intros may contain samples that provide texture and diversity, but once the pounding starts, there is nothing but meat to be had here. No wonder this band is establishing itself as the premier metal group in Sonoma County and abroad, as well as the figurehead for a small coalition of cooperative bands in the area, doing their damnest to keep the scene alive. Visceral and primal, yet more complex the more you look into it, don’t fear the Stomach. Dive headlong into this gastro-intestinal freakshow, or get the fuck out of the way.



(2003) self titled ep
(2004) "strings" ep


Feeling a bit camera shy


Killing of Mind was formed in 2002 in Santa Rosa, California. Made up of four members including Paul Nieblas (vocals), Niall Mulcahy (Drums), Russell Mederios (guitar) and Tony D'Orazio (Bass). Playing countless shows for the last 3 years, they have built a strong following around their intense music and stage pressence. Their influences range from punk to metal, from classical to mo town. They have released two indepenant cd's: "self titled" black ep (2002), and "strings" (2004).