Day 5C: Detroit Metal City, Round Two
We are tired, but we are down to just forty songs left in the competition with a running time of 153:40, which means we have less than eighty minutes of cutting to do. Let’s see if any of the following bouts can provide some anesthetic…
#1 Dog Lady, “Children of the Torn Snare” (4:57)
#8 Edward Ka-Spel, “Tanith and the Lion Tree” (3:22)
I knew that opening flub with the guitar from the previous track bleeding over into the first notes of “Tanith” was eventually going to cause Edward Ka-Spel to come to a bad end in this tournament; it makes things just a little easier to note that even if the song had been recorded perfectly, it came up against an immovable post. There is no shame in losing to Dog Lady, no matter who you are. Dog Lady cruises on through. Total running time: 150:18.
#12 Black Flag, “Wasted” (0:51)
#13 John Lee Hooker, “Madman’s Blues” (2:46)
The battle of the upsets here, and which of these monsters is going to make it? If you’ve been following along, that actually might be an easy question to answer; as much as Black Flag turned in one of the defining moments of hardcore, and as great as “Wasted” is, “Madman’s Blues” is more punk, more metal, and more noise than anything else in this entire competition. That’s all there is to it, and John Lee Hooker rips through this battle with relative ease. Total running time: 149:47.
#3 Current93, “Hooves” (4:24)
#6 Horse, “Red Haired Girl” (3:54)
The day after this battle was set, which at this point is close to three weeks ago, “Red Haired Girl” came on as I was driving home, and I knew with complete certainty that a song called “Hooves” was, ironically, going to be taken out of the competition by a woman called Horse. David Tibet’s esotericisms, in such a concentrated form as I have gotten them over the past few months, can eventually prove wearing when limited to a single song, while “Red Haired Girl” sounds just as fresh now as it did all the way back in April. And thus another almost unthinkable upset, as Current93, having beaten all comers before, are finally sent to the sidelines. Total running time: 145:23.
#7 Elhaz, “Glory” (4:22)
#2 Enter the Haggis, “One Last Drink” (3:28)
Enter the Haggis have been one of the competition’s mainstays throughout. The idea of them not reaching the final ninety-six was unthinkable, and the idea of them not making the final mix was only worth entertaining if they ran into something else just as monstrous as they were in this competition. And that day has come. The mysterious, wonderful Elhaz fielded one of the very few songs in the entire competition capable of standing up to “One Last Drink”, and Elhaz’ darkness is the perfect antidote for ETH’s boundless optimism. It’s another of those phrases I never thought I would be saying in this competition…but Enter the Haggis head for the showers, while Elhaz head for the Final Four. Total running time: 141:55.
And another day of brutal bouts have left us with four more tracks that will hopefully not have to endure any more pain…
Dog Lady, “Children of the Torn Snare”
John Lee Hooker, “Madman’s Blues”
Horse, “Red Haired Girl”