Friday, July 24, 2009

Dead as Dreams

Years after their demise, Weakling still manages to stand tall (at least in my mind) as the undisputed kings of San Francisco black metal. Considering that I never really dug that deeply into black metal, I’m not sure how authoritative I can be making that statement. But as far as this listener is concerned, virtually all other bands of that nature are reduced to irrelevance when listening to Weakling’s sole vinyl offering to the world. For reference, Weakling was John Gossard’s band well before he joined Asunder. In between the two, he also played with bassist Sarah Weiner in the Gault. Josh Smith from the Fucking Champs also played guitar for Weakling, and their drummer Sam was in Sangre Amado and now plays with Saros.

I don’t remember how I heard about Weakling, but I definitely remember seeing them for the first time. It was Metalween at the Tip Top Inn, a trashy bike messenger bar in the Mission. Although I was six months away from 21, I had an ace in the hole: Pete from Benumb. With Pete backing me up, it wasn’t hard to bullshit the door guy into letting me in without checking for ID. As it was, I wasn’t there to drink anyway. Instead, the two of us were there to get a taste of San Francisco’s small but loyal metal scene. It turned out to be just as tasty as the steaks we ate down the street before the show. Weakling played last, and laid waste with an epic set of ungodly metal thunder that threatened to put a crack in everyone’s Metalween corpse paint. In fact, I had already forgotten what the preceding bands—Black Goat and Unholy Cadaver (later Hammers of Misfortune)—had sounded like. Add on a smokin’ hot stripper with an equally smokin’ hot joint for me, and I was in metal heaven.

Supposedly this is hard to come by (although it was reissued relatively recently), and the fact that I paid $7 for a used double LP copy is a cause for envy in some circles. Whatever its collector status may be, Dead as Dreams was a black metal masterpiece when you still thought Dimmu Borgior and In Flames were the pinnacle. Since you now pretend you never listened to those bands in the first place, pretend you were on the home team from the beginning here.

1 comment:

Robert Avery said...

Very good, and i dont even dig that much black metal, love the pete anectdote, san francisco has an eerie ability to make black metal sound original, and not be about cold snowy, dorky, winter bullshit but relevant issues.