Tub Ring @ 31st Street Pub, Pitt: 03.14.02
Click here for more photos from this show.
As a general rule, Fate makes a lousy traveling partner. Impetuous jaunts tend to end with jail time, long waits for AAA tows, finding out your show's been cancelled or has sold out, and on and on. But during weeks like Spring Break -- when the only things moving in a college town are tumbleweeds sauntering purposefully down Main Street, and not even the sound of saloon doors swinging in the wind pierces the silence - you'll take what you can get.
Tub Ring is what Pittsburgh had to offer, and based on the quality
of their record label, and the comparisons to Mr. Bungle they've elicited
from critics, we graciously accepted. Serendipity, Mac and I piled
in the Mazda and headed to 31st Street Pub.
Tub Ring was
likewise a wonderful surprise. The comparisons to Mr. Bungle, former
Faith No More singer Mike Patton's project, are warranted. Tub Ring
offers a similarly schizoid sound, shifting at the stop of a dime
from frenetic, vicious metal to carnivalesque silliness. Further comparisons
to Mr. Bungle are irresistible, since Tub Ring's vocals, courtesy
of Kevin Gibson, are often a dead ringer for Patton's, and the album
was in fact produced by Mr. Bungle's own Trey Spruance. But where
Mr. Bungle's work produces a sinister ominousness, Tub Ring's never
stops being playful. They prefer to sing of complex string theory,
mathematical anomalies, and science fiction, rather than the dark,
disturbing narratives Patton prefers.
This show was nothing short of phenomenal, and the band is my new favorite thing ever. Don't miss them when they return for two dates in Pittsburgh, one at Club Laga and one more at 31st Street Pub. You won't be disappointed.