He or she who says, “The bands in my local music scene are boring”, can’t be talking about WNY, can they? Over the last 3 years, we’ve reviewed some pretty interesting bands. It’s been quite a journey, and bands like Short Attention Span Theatre are proving there’s no end in sight.
After two live shows and a full listen to their debut EP with my undivided attention, I can tell you that SAST is on another planet, as far as local metal is concerned. So, it’s wildly fitting that their opening track is called “Aliens”. There’s nothing misleading about the title. It’s a weird song, full of the unexpected that leaves you wanting more; or leaves you feeling like you’ve just been abducted by little green men and sodomized repeatedly, depending on your point of view. Either way, it’s an experience to be had, that’s for sure.
It’s hard to fully describe SAST’s sound, but if I had to put a tag on them, I’d say that they’re at an impressive level of experiMETAL, in a world full of experiMETAL bands. This is the world we live in now and thankfully, there are a few trendsetters at the forefront to light the way. Bands like Protest the Hero, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge immediately come to mind, when I need to quickly compare SAST to someone else in conversation.
Those familiar with the local instrumental group, Ish Kabbible, should immediately be impressed with SAST’s rhythm section, because they ARE SAST’s rhythm section. Kenny Brand (Avulsion), commands the drums like no other. He’s been a staple around WNY behind the kit for quite a few years now and he’s still pounding it out like he’s in his early 20s. His precision and creativity are still top notch, both of which are insanely necessary for both of his current bands. Then, there’s his son Gus on the bass. The last time I saw Gus perform live, he had 11 pedals in front of him and believe me, he utilizes his gear. Seeing Ish Kabbible is a lot like seeing Animals As Leaders without guitar, but just imagine something that intricate and powerful behind a vocalist and guitarist. Factor in Gordon Carlson’s technical/avant garde style on the guitar and Ryan Mis’s insanely bipolar, yet ultra talented vocal approach, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster, otherwise known as Short Attention Span Theatre.
The EP is 4 tracks short, leaving lots of room for anticipation and immediate withdrawal syndrome. The songs are quick, technical, diverse and energetic. They just don’t let up. I think it’s safe to say that Buffalo has no other band quite like this and to be honest, I can’t think of another who would’ve come before. Ryan comes from It’s A Dinosaur, another Dillinger style band that I suppose comes close to what SAST is doing, however the music SAST is putting out has so many added dimensions, that it’s hardly a worthy comparison.
Now straying away from the EP, the last thing I’m going to touch on is how impressive, crisp and clean SAST’s live sets are. Anyone who listens to this EP and thinks it’s all studio magic has another thing coming. These guys are the real deal and I hope they stand the test of time. Cheers.
Ryan Mis: Vocals
Gordon Carlson: Guitar
Gus Brand: Bass
Kenny Brand: Drums