Ruby The Hatchet made the journey north to perform at The Stone Church in Brattleboro, Vermont, as part of the Women’s History Month celebration.
As in previous years, “The Stone Church is hosting around a dozen shows featuring women-fronted bands for Grrrls to the Front, now a month-long series honoring all affected by gender inequity. At each event, Planned Parenthood and the Women’s Freedom Center will be available with a table and resources.” As part of this programming, Ruby The Hatchet headlined a show with four women-fronted bands at The Stone Church on Saint Patrick’s Day. It is an incredible venue that is exactly what it sounds like – an old stone church. The pews have been removed and a stage has been installed, but otherwise all the trappings of religiosity are present – stained glass windows, a balcony overlooking the hall, and even the bones of a pipe organ. It is a small, intimate place that is the perfect setting for heavy music.
The first band to play was Coma Hole, a two-piece doom band from Rhode Island that has been a around for a few years and released a self-titled EP last year. There seem to be a proliferation of duos in the past several years, more than I remember from days of yore. Bass-drum combos, like Coma Hole, are fairly common – Year of the Cobra is another example that comes to mind. Coma Hole expands the range of sound through the use of pedals, adding variety to the compositions and further enhancing the accompanying vocals. The format of the show allowed the early bands to play longer than you might normally expect, so the crowd got to hear about forty minutes of soaking doom.
Next up was a local band, Jeopardy. I have seen their music described as crossover thrash. I would add to that the label of beer punk, maybe. The crowd loved them, being familiar with their act, and there was a noticeable amount of communication between the stage and the room, including the hurling of beer cans now and then. The press blurb for the band reads, “We’re not here to impress anyone. We’re not here to raise the bar. We’re not here to be innovative. We[’]re here to drink beer and thrash.” Mission accomplished.
Ice Giant is an epic metal band from Massachusetts. Their debut album came out in 2017, Ice Giant, and they have been touring ever since. They are working on a new record now, and their set had material drawn from across their timeline. This is a band that has been honing their craft for quite a while, and their hard work shows in their performance. They operate in epic landscapes, and the temporal menace is a thrashing attack – an excellent array of big riffs and a towering sound. As with the first two bands, I had never seen Ice Giant before. It is always great to hear new music, but besides that, this show lineup has in common the fact that all the lead singers are women but otherwise the four acts play completely different kinds of music. It is a good mix.
The main reason I did make the journey to southern Vermont was to see Ruby The Hatchet, a band I have seen before many times, most recently last year at Psycho Las Vegas. They are a heavy psych band, one of my all-time favorites. Their latest album is Fear Is A Cruel Master, out now through Magnetic Eye Records.
Their set began with “Thruster,” and ran through many cuts from Cruel Master, along with a few recognizable songs from the past. I could listen to this band every week and still want to hear more. Jillian Taylor’s voice is both mesmerizing and commanding, and the full sound they get with the combination of guitar, keys, and the rhythm section is unmatched. Any chance you get to see them live is one you can’t pass by – drop everything and get to the show.
Ruby The Hatchet has a couple of shows coming up in April, at Underground Arts in Philly on the 12th and at the Anchor Rock Club in Atlantic City on the 22nd. They are on tour with Elder from May 3rd to June 3rd – check out the tour poster below for cities and dates, then grab your tickets before they are all gone.
Photos by Wayne Edwards.
Ruby The Hatchet, http://rubythehatchet.com/
Ice Giant, https://icegiantband.bandcamp.com/album/ice-giant
Coma Hole, https://comahole.bandcamp.com/music
The Stone Church, https://stonechurchvt.com/
More Ruby The Hatchet photos, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2023/03/26/photo-gallery-ruby-the-hatchet-at-the-stone-church-brattleboro-vermont/
More Ice Giant photos, https://flyingfiddlesticks.com/2023/03/26/photo-gallery-ice-giant-at-the-stone-church-brattleboro-vermont-2023/
© Wayne Edwards