BEING THERE: Cult Leader @ Ortliebs

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Cult Leader, sludgy grindcore crust punks from Salt Lake City, are brutally melodic in a way one would only know by going down dark paths, through treacherous caves during the worst hours in search of answers. They played Ortlieb’s last night as part of a Deathwish Records package tour that also Sweden’s God Mother and Brooklyn’s Primitive Weapons. God Mother was heavy and pleasantly evil, but the singer stopped the music from time to time because he felt the ‘moshing’ was a bit too harsh and made a joke that in his country at least if he gets hurt there was free health care. He used his microphone chord to stage a limbo contest with audience members and then tried to wrestle the ceiling fan and disco ball as he surfed over the crowd into the bar. Brooklyn-based Primitive Weapons had a super true thrashing metal sound with powerful vocals that reminded me of the stuff I used to stay up late waiting to see on Headbangers Ball. Adorned in a leather jacket and hoodie, Cult Leader vocalist Anthony Lucero pretty much didn’t say anything in between songs other than “this is our last song” and then he finally ditched the leather jacket and hoodie. Not sure if it was because he was overheating or just wanted to prove to the audience that despite his growled declarations that he was “was made of snakes that hate the sun” he was in fact more human than demon, but either way this set made me a follower. — MARK LIKOSKY