Chicago instrumental outfit Russian Circles spent much of the final month of 2014 celebrating their 10th anniversary on the road, with a series of East Coast shows accompanied by the Converge/Cave In-affiliated trio Mutoid Man. While their recorded output is worthy in its own right, Russian Circles have long shined brightest as a live act, and a run of packed club shows felt like the perfect way for them to mark a decade together. The two trios brought their disparate-yet-complimentary live acts to Cambridge’s The Sinclair on December 10, 2014.
Mutoid Man, the brainchild of Cave In singer/guitarist Stephen Brodsky and Converge drummer Ben Koller, offered less in the way of ambience, but made up for it with plenty of unhinged personality. Rounded out by bassist Nick Cageao, the band ripped through a breathless opening set comprised of much of their debut LP Helium Head, a handful of new songs and a show-stopping cover of Sabbath’s Mob Rules cut “Falling Off the Edge of the World” with a guest vocalist. Mutoid Man transpose Koller’s frenetic drumming and Brodsky’s guitar and vocal talents to a more lighthearted project than either’s primary gig, and they’re undeniably a blast to watch.
The bill was perhaps an odd match up of bands, but with so much talent involved, it was hard to find fault with it. Mutoid Man got us psyched up and Russian Circles kept us riveted, celebrating their 10 years with a set that perfectly summarized their strengths. Here’s to hoping the first decade won’t be the last.