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By William Brent:
I've read and heard so many good things about Louisville's Rodan over the past year that guilt had literally set in.
Guilt, because of my own inability to check out this rising young band that has received national acclaim and even recorded an album titled Rusty with a big-time producer in Steve Albini (PJ. Harvey, Nirvana).
So in order to clear my conscience, I ventured out to Cliffhanger's on June 11 to – hopefully — experience Rodan's exciting sound. Since I didn't feel like staying out until 2 or 3 in the morning, I decided to take in the early all-ages show instead of the late show. More importantly, I wanted to attend the show with Rodan's young hard-core fans present so I could observe and feel the energetic feeding frenzy that both Rodan and fans are known for.
Fortunately, I wasn't disappointed.
It didn't take Rodan very long to prove themselves worthy of all the positive praise they've garnered. As a matter of fact, it struck me halfway through their thunderous second song that Rodan is more than just an ordinary punk band, if indeed they are a punk hand.
Most hard-core or punk music is defned by loud. fast and short song bursts. Rodan. on the other hand, explores the art of extending their tension-flled compositions. It's a bit risky to do this because of perceived fller and sheer boredom might creep in on the listener. But Rodan's powerful, interesting style never became tedious to me nor to the 150 or so young supporters who crammed into the "cabana lounge stage structure," as vocalist/guitarist Jason Noble described it.
Noble and fellow guitarist Jeff Mueller have formed an abrasive dual guitar attack that's absolutely sonic appealing. Vocalist/ bassist Tara Jane 0'Neil and drummer Kevin Coultas were equally effective in building and sustaining momentum.
An evident strength of Rodan is the way they carefully pressed the tempo to its climax then without wanting released a monstrous pent-up fury. Noble and Mueller lunged and stomped, piercing the air, giving it their all. as the crowd surged.
At the conclusion of their ferocious 65-minute set, Noble apologized to the physically spent crowd. "Sorry for this whole Cliffhanger thing."
No apologies necessary, Jason.