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Loudness/Bronx Casket Co.

Date: 3/26, 4/4.06
Venue: BB Kings, Starland Ballroom NY/NJ
Reviewed By: Rich Catino

For Bronx Casket Co., featuring DD Verni on bass and vocals from Overkill and Jack Frost from Seven Witches, this has been the start of the band's move outside the studio and onto the stage. They played one show in Jersey to get their feet wet prior to these dates with Loudness.

The Casket Co write music geared for the Halloween season and a vibe appropriate of the theme for a TV show like The Munsters or Adams Family. The music incorporates very appropriate properly placed gothic toned keyboards to songs that overall possess a relatively lively vibe that doesn't take itself too seriously. Now don't get me wrong, as a live act by listening to the more than fitting show opener instrumental piece its obvious that DD is dead serious about the music's intentions. It's the catchy hooks to songs like “Who Wants to Live Forever”, “Black Valentine” or “Little Dead Girl” and infectious grooves of “ Sherimoon ” (keyboards are perfect here) that makes the Casket Co so easily likeable. With Jack laying down very heavy riffs and DD anchoring it to the mausoleum floor, to the upbeat drums and accompanying keyboards backing the songs these guys are I think a better Type O Negative.

Loudness has not toured the States since 1987 give or take a year, and in their 20 years absence from our shores, the lineup changed several times as the musical direction with mainstay in the lineup Akira Takasaki on guitar. With this string of dates they celebrate their 20 th anniversary along with the reformation of the classic lineup, which has been back together in Japan for several years, from the “Thunder in the East” album. Their setlist was a mix of classic old songs like the MTV video “Crazy Nights”, “Let it Go ” and “SDI” to real old like “Rock Shock” off their debut in 1981 and “Crazy Doctor” from “Disillusion”. These older songs among others have been recently rerecorded and available domestically called “Rock Shocks”.

Newer cuts like “ Exulation ” off “Racing” or “Cross” from “Terror” were not so different from 80's Loudness but different non the less with heavy modern type riffing. The thing most recognizable about post 80's Loudness is Akira's style which has become less Eddie Van Halen influenced.

The band looks nothing like they did in the 80's all sporting short hair and no costuming, although funny thing at the BB King show guitarist Akira was basically bald then at the Starland he had a full head of braids/dreads. Playing wise I thought they could have been better as they were too loud and Akira's playing was very unpolished and rough as were the vocals. But maybe this is the sound they are going for these days?

I think this was a one time thing given its an “anniversary” so Loudness can please their small audience in America and doesn't look like they will be back anytime soon. Still I think “Crazy Nights” remains one of the most memorable and coolest riffs in Heavy Metal history.


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