For the second year in a row, the wife & I went to Thornville, Ohio to attend Woodshock at Legend Valley. Much smaller crowd turnout this time around, possibly due to a weaker bill with (Hed) P.E. and Kottonmouth Kings headlining their respective nights, but still a great time spent with some cool new friends. Gotta question the decision to have two headliners of a Rap or Rap-Metal variety when so many of the other bands were Thrash or Death Metal but that’s just my take.
My other complaint – no band showtimes were listed for the public. None. Totally had to guess who was gonna play when, and more than a few bands did a piss poor job of promoting themselves (i.e. saying who the hell they were), which made this reviewer do a LOT of extra digging. Bottom line – I’m only gonna talk about the bands that stood out to me. If I don’t mention a band, I either didn’t care for them, missed their set OR didn’t know who they were. So briefly, here’s my thoughts on day one;
Paper Thin Disaster – I’ve heard a lot about these guys online so I wanted to check them out personally. Very heavy Screamcore, vocals got a little irritating sometimes but if you’re into that genre, these guys deliver the brutality.
Podium – reminded me a little of Pantera with their heavy groove and guttural vocals. I cannot find a band page for these guys anywhere, but here’s a Youtube video to give you a taste (this song was great live!).
Roxy Mae – Total 80’s glam sound with Papa Roach like looks, Roxy Mae have listened to a few Poison albums in their day. I will say it was a refreshing change from all the lung vomiting.
Brain Leak – Gets an ‘F’ for self promotion as I never heard them say who they were. Mad scientist motif is mildly unusual but their sound is more of a pummeling Death Metal variety. Would love to see them expand upon their image.
Neckrum – had the sound that I was expecting from Brain Leak; Gothic & creepy Screamcore with occasional interludes of keyboard. Gave away a free promo CD (thumbs up!). I would definitely catch these guys again.
Icon For Hire – The only female fronted band of the festival (pictured), Icon for Hire owes a lot of their sound to Flyleaf, what with their pop-infused choruses and uptempo guitar riffs. Great crowd reaction, especially for “Make A Move”.
Sorrows Song – Ran the gamut from brutal to radio friendly, growling vocals to clean, with a nod to Prog & Nu-metal (they liken themselves to Killswitch Engage – a fair comparison). Interesting chord progressions and mixture of song styles – definitely a thinking band.
7th Cycle – Reminded me of Five Finger Death Punch, with melodic yet heavy songs that cry out for radio airplay. Probably one of the most polished acts of the day, took a risk by covering Britney Spear’s “Toxic” with an awesome metal crunch. Were joined for a song by Tim Buchenroth (Woodshock’s founder) on bass.
Downplay – About to release a CD nationally, but did a terrible job of promoting themselves (again, SAY who you are – a few times). Tremendous energy onstage but a more mainstream sound than I would prefer. Still, I can see these guys becoming huge. Women loved them.
Kottonmouth Kings – VERY rap influenced, but they do what they do very well. I must say I enjoyed their set, even though I’m only a marginal fan of the genre. Every song was cannabis-centric – surprised? Women REALLY loved them, this band probably has more fun on tour than anyone else!
And there you have it – Day one of Woodshock. Day 2, well . . .it had some eccentricities (Reggae!?) but we’ll discuss all that in the next post.