Story and Photos: Brian Schmidt
Editor: Spencer Fleming
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Now back to the story....
After catching The World Without Us, a local Lincoln Metalcore band, who quite frankly are a little conservative with the genre labeling, a few weeks ago I had struck up a conversation with Drew, the Lead Singer/Guitarist, who offered me a press pass for his next show. I was very impressed with the band’s crisp, heartfelt sound, as well as their overall intimate stage presence, so I couldn’t pass up another opportunity to cover them. What I didn’t realize is that the bands co-headlining, Spirit Breaker and Light Worker would be within the same wheelhouse.
One long drive to Lincoln later, and I arrived just in time to catch openers Goosehound, who started off the show with their zany yet pragmatic instrumental mathcore. It was some pretty solid Mathcore too, with all the complex time signature bells and tempo-changing whistles.
From the start there were about four people in the crowd, which is pretty standard for a first-on-the-bill local band, however the band finished their set with a good thirty people in the crowd, which was fairly impressive. Once they started playing everyone at the bar had to see them. All of their track titles were pretty funny, with such gems as “The Christ is Right,” “Honey, I Merced the Judge,” and everyone’s favorite genitally pierced, slam-dunkin’ best friend to Kim Jong-un, “Dennis Rodman.” I was thoroughly impressed with how tight all the instruments were during all the tumultuous waves of sporadic structural changes brought on by their Poseidon-spawned master drummer. The band not only held their own but mastered the waves as they surfed along gracefully in the intentionally choppy waters. As the band hit the first note of their last tune it started pouring.
Afterwards I got to talk to the literal nicest guy Zach, the guitar player announcing tunes in between songs. We talked at length about hair care, as well as the unaired podcast he and his buddies started during the pandemic where they reviewed their old cringey bands. I for one think that would be a super interesting listen. Release the tapes!
You can find tunes to surf along to at their hilariously named website, stopgoosehound.com
Surprisingly, Spirit Breaker was up next. Drew’s band The World Without Us was set to play last, which was kind of strange, as this was a part of the Spirit Breaker/Light Worker Co-Headlining tour. I’m not sure why the show was set up this way, as both headliners stayed until the end of the show, but The Word Without Us’ set is a great way to close out the show.
Spirit Breaker was a solid romp. Bringing their unique brand of Progressive Michigan Metalcore, Spirit Breaker raised the spirits of the broken audience with their message of self-love. I really dug their dual vocals with the Bassist providing haunting background vocals, which meshed well with their ambient undertones over the top of lead singer Tre’ Turner’s Chester Bennington-esque high vocal frys, and monstrous lows. At one point Tre’ busted out his British accent asking us if we “loiked at one.” We did. He then asked us if we could 2 step, although there was like 1 person who could, and his 2 step was kinda iffy. Luckily, the crowd knew how to mosh.
Tre’ also settled in, taking a seat on the stage for a really intimate moment from the crowd, asking us to put our hands up if we’ve ever been down on ourselves, to which a majority of the crowd raised their hands. The Singer then sparked a fire in us, and continued on to cathartic, yet uplifting songs with such lyrics as “I know I’m far from worthless,” and “no one deserves this weight.” I really resonated with their message and ended up buying a sweet Blue “The Mountain Between Us” shirt. I love seeing color at the merch booth. I wish more bands would get crazy with it.
You can span Mountains at https://spiritbreakermi.bigcartel.com/
In between sets I shared a beer with Drew, who was super supportive of all the bands there. He talked about how good Light Worker, and Spirit Breaker were and how excited he was to play a show with them. He also spoke very highly of Zach and the Goosehound boys, saying it was a treat to play so many shows with them, confirming what I had learned prior that night that Zach was the nicest guy ever. I’m not trying to fluff up Drew, and he didn’t ask me to put any of this in the article, I just wanted to showcase his kindness and friendly demeanor, which is a shining example of the best of, not just the metalcore scene, but the metal scene in general. Also, the dude keeps giving me free shirts!
Next up was Light Worker, a band which was a ton of fun. Their performance was so bombastic that the stage could barely contain it, as it spilled over several times into the audience with both bassist, and singer hopping down to join the flurry of moshing and headbanging. It was definitely the most energetic performance of the night. I really dug the blizzard of hair that bassist Carlos Herrera, aka Dawglos, was swinging around during their set. Curly hair bois be out in full swing!
The band's energy was infectious, and when they played their fantastic cover of Hoobastank’s “Crawling in the Dark,” the crowd was whipped into a frenzy. I got to talk to Dawglos after the show, and he had mentioned that the band had gotten some serious radio play with that one. Another cool dude to add to my Insta follow list.
Hooba-Stanky Legg on over to https://my.bio/lightworker for more killer tunes. (I’m sorry, I know that one was bad.)
Later on, I met with Guitarist Michael Ball who was a touring member of Light Worker. The guy was super sweet thanking me for covering the show and listening to me talk about my endeavors. He had also mentioned that his main band Tegmentum, which has Andrew Baird of Fallujah fame on drums in their upcoming album. Apparently, he’s been good friends with the guy since childhood. It’s some high-octane tech death! I for one, can’t wait for the new album. I absolutely adore tech death!
However, Michael didn’t mention his YouTube channel though. He’s got some good guitar playing stuff on there. I only mention this because someone commented that they had been following him on YouTube for years in the comment section on one of his Bandcamp albums, and you know I had to go digging! #gottem
Watch out for Tegmentum’s new album at tegmentum.bandcamp.com and all the Tegmentum’s socials, and check out Michael’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/MikeBallErratic
To cap off the night, The World Without Us took the stage. Drummer Cole Yeager was sporting a brand-new painted bass drumhead, freshly inked by his partner in crime, literally moments before the show. (Yo Cole, hit me up so I can link her work!) The hand with the 3d glasses spiral created a cool illusion when he hit the kick drum, which was often.
Their set was the most intimate of the night as the band provided their unique blend of melodic metalcore, and dreamy soundscapes, with their performance of the very quiet, = “Miss Leading” once again being the highlight of their set. This is my second time seeing TWWU (UwU), and I’m impressed by how they grab the audience's attention with their somewhat atypical performance; The smoke machine, the reliance on blue lights, and the brief moments of reserved quiet contrasted by loud movements. Every piece acts as a cog, doing its due diligence to help form a masterfully crafted machine, akin to a well lived pocket watch, worn and polished with deep reverence by generations of kin.
Don’t let The World Without Us slip past your radar. Check out their site at, https://twwu-official.com
In true midwestern fashion it took me a solid 10 minutes to leave the show once it was over. I had met so many new friends, and strengthened friendships with existing ones, that I could not let them leave without squeezing in a bit more time with them. The drive back to Omaha was short.
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The World Without Us
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