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Keelhaul Had a Triumphant, Late Return to New York

Justina Villanueva

“I’m glad the show got pushed back. We were having a hard time getting here on time. For those of you who know us, that’s our problem every day,” Keelhaul bassist Aaron Dallison sincerely told the crowd. The show that was set to start at 6 PM ended up starting at 8 PM, saving the band some time and an ulcer or two. The native Ohioans played New York City’s Santos Party House on Aug. 5 with Disappearer, Pigs and Unsane.

When you watch the band live, you can start to understand their influences (as stated on their MySpace page): corndogs, roast beef sandwiches, flat tires, drinking excessively and being broke and old. They are as bitter as they are funny. Above all, they are as musically athletic of a band as they come. It’s hard to tell whether they love or hate their instruments — or whether it’s easier for anyone in the band to play these complex songs after 13 years. And that’s OK, because last year they gave us their ‘Triumphant Return to Obscurity.’

Justina Villanueva

“Everybody loves songs about Vikings. There’s nothing more metal,” Dallison said. No one in the crowd disagreed.

Drummer Will Scharf took pictures of the crowd during a drum break. Fans were so amped that they posed for the snaps in the only way a metalhead can: throwing up horns and screaming.

Before we knew it, their set was almost done, and Dallison was telling the crowd that now it was “the old band’s” turn.

“The only band older than us,” guitarist Chris Smith interjected. The two members were pointing out the headliners of the show, noise rockers Unsane.

We’re gonna play for a long time tonight,” Unsane frontman Chris Spencer told the already cheering crowd. Part of that long set was the the 1995 album ‘Scattered, Smothered and Covered’. By the look of the mosh pit, fans were waiting a long time to let loose to that record in full.

“I don’t know how to break this to you, but we break a lot of s—,” Spencer said when one of the amps went haywire. But don’t worry, they still played their lengthy set. And they’ll play the same lengthy set on Aug. 27 at Grumpy’s Bar as a part of Amphetamine Reptile’s 25th anniversary bash. Both bands will spend the better part of August on the road with Today Is the Day.

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