Live Concert Photography: Mondo Drag with The Well and Crypt Trip at Saint Vitus 10/15/16
Featuring primary members John Gamino, Nolan Girard and Jake Sheley, long-term friends and collaborators, who all grew up within a one-mile radius of each other, attended the same schools, were part of the same scene and have played in various projects together over the past 15 years, the members of Oakland, CA-based band Mondo Drag specialize in a sound that draws from proto-metal, psych rock and prog metal, and with the release of New Rituals, the band quickly developed a national profile, as they began touring the US extensively, including sets at SXSW, Chicago Psych Fest, Cincy Psych Fest and Austin Psych Fest (now known as Levitation Festival). Adding to a growing national profile, the band has played on bills with nationally recognized bands like Sleepy Sun, Dead Meadow, Witchcraft, Pentagram, Black Mountain, Wooden Shjips, High On Fire, and others. The band’s latest self-titled effort manages to sound as though it were influenced by 60s psych rock, early Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and 70s Pink Floyd — while bearing an uncanny resemblance to the RidingEasy Records and Permanent Records‘ Brown Acid proto-metal, proto-stoner rock compilations as blistering power chords are paired with twisting and soaring organ chords, and ridiculously complex, heady song structures complete with frequent time signature and key changes.
Last month the members of Mondo Drag stopped by Greenpoint, Brooklyn’s heavy metal den, Saint Vitus while on tour with Austin, TX-based trio The Well and San Marcos, TX-based trio Crypt Trip. Check out photos from the show below.
With the release of their critically applauded debut effort Samsara, the Austin, TX-based doom metal/heavy psych rock trio The Well, comprised of Lisa Alley (vocals, bass), Ian Graham (guitars, vocals) and Jason Sullivan (drums), quickly developed a reputation for a unique take on doom metal/heavy psych in which both Alley and Graham take up vocal duties, frequently harmonizing throughout while also experimenting with noise rock, occult rock, dark folk and other genres. The Austin, TX-based trio’s sophomore effort Pagan Science was released earlier this year, and the album finds the band refining their songwriting approach and their sound as the members of the band focused on crafting tighter, sharper hooks and lyrics that are more conceptually and thematically intricate — the album thematically focuses on the notion that the world outside of one’s own mind is also a creation and reflection of the interior world of that mind. Interestingly, the album includes a cover of Crosby, Stills and Nash‘s “Guinevere,” which reveals that the band’s sound and songwriting is the result of a broad and very diverse array of influences.
The band has played Levitation Festival last year and this past year and have toured with Kadavar, All Them Witches, Black Tusk and others. And adding to a growing national profile, the band wrote and recorded the theme song to AMC‘s Ride with Norman Reedus and have appeared on the show with the show’s star, who’s a big fan of the band.
Seemingly influenced by the likes of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, the San Marcos, TX-based trio Crypt Trip opened the night.