Brace yourselves: Stumpfest III is coming.
Portland’s own small-scale indie metal festival—this year taking place over three days at Mississippi Studios from April 24 to 26—features hometown heroes and traveling acts alike. Billing itself as “a fantastic amalgam of music, bro love and art,” it’s a stellar opportunity to see a wealth of heavy bands, something that rarely happens outside of national touring circuses like Ozzfest.
Thursday, April 24 brings headliners Trans Am from Bethesda, Md., delivering their brand of blended electro-heavy rock that leans on the synths. Opening are Federation X with a slightly more sludgy yet upbeat sound that’s full of heavy riffs; Life Coach—featuring Phil Manley also of Trans Am on guitar, synths and vox and Jon Theodore, the current Queens of the Stone Age drummer and ex-The Mars Volta—who’ll bring synthy psychedelia-doom-influenced, genre-mashing tunes; and Drab Majesty, who aren’t exactly metal—but given the Bowie/Kiss/Bauhaus influences, I can get behind it.
Friday the 25 showcases a Portland-heavy lineup led by local heartthrobs and the nationally beloved Red Fang. If you aren’t familiar these beer-fueled, station wagon lovin’, zombie slayin’ (see above) gentlemen, I feel bad for you, son. Now’s your chance to make it right. Opening are Relapse labelmates Lord Dying bringing their heavy thrash alongside doom metal mavens Norska, desert-fried stoner rock specialists Black Pussy, Seattle-based psych-stoner rockers Ancient Warlocks, and some fine imported Canadian talent making their US debut in the form of Chron Goblin—who’ll do their damnedest to please stoner metal fans.
Saturday the 26 wraps up the fest with Eugene’s YOB—elder statesmen who have been bringing tasty riffs to the masses for the better part of two decades. If you like your metal doom-laden and old school, this is your set. Supporting are thrash-sludge duo Black Cobra, local heavy sludge act Diesto, local dirty hardcore outfit Drunk Dad, and PDX punk-thrash grinders Honduran.Space is extremely limited given the number of bands performing, and all watercooler talk suggests you should buy your tickets well in advance to make sure you don’t miss out. See you all in the love mosh.