GIG REVIEW: NARCOTIC WASTELAND Live at Dr. Jack’s Drinkery, Omaha
Narcotic Wasteland is the brainchild of the shredlord formerly of Nile, Dallas Toler-Wade. Starting from square one, he’s built a new band into a DIY death metal machine. I was a little disappointed when I heard they were going to be playing at Dr. Jack’s, because that kind of music just absolutely doesn’t fit the venue. The stage is barely able to hold a band, and there are tables and chairs filling the floor in front of the stage. It is a small spot to begin with, but it felt huge that night. For whatever the reason, Omaha again failed to turn out to see an amazing band. Just like the last time King Parrot rolled through, I saw hardly any promotion for the show, except for the posts from Narcotic Wasteland on Facebook.
Primal Waters was the first to open the show, and they did in front of a meager crowd at best. As people were slowly trickling in, the band began to pick up some steam. I got a GWAR-type vibe from the band and was pleasantly surprised with them as I’d never seen them before.
Xenophonic was up next. These were the local tech-death guys and they’ve been building up a lot of momentum lately. While I am the harshest critic of those within my beloved, niche little genre, I still dig the band overall. In an effort to show their tech-death chops, the band covered Decapitated’s “Spheres of Madness,” which is always an impressive endeavor.
The last local act of the night was local bro rock band, Exit Sanity. I’m not sure if the promoter just ran out of available bands that night or what exactly happened, but somehow, Exit Sanity ended up on the bill. I’ve seen these bros several times now and am always less amused by their gimmicky music. The remind me of what a band would sound like if its members were Bud Light, TapOut, mayonnaise, and a single GED. Not sure what it is about the band specifically that gets so far under my skin, but I just cannot get on board with this band.
Narcotic Wasteland finally came on, and it was like getting water in the middle of the desert – the brutality and speed was so refreshing! It’s one thing to hear music this fast on a record, but it’s an entirely different thing to hear and see it in person. These guys made it look way too easy, too. From the opening note, it was like drinking water from a firehose, in the sense you were just blasted in the face with metal. The sound was surprisingly articulate for being in such a cramped venue, and everything sounded pretty well coming from the wall of speakers four feet away from me. Their latest album, ‘Delirium Tremens’ translates well to a live setting and makes for a great showing live. If you get the chance, definitely check them out!