By Andrew Bansal
May 26th 2014, Down & Out Bar, Los Angeles CA: Based out of Atlantic City NJ, metal quartet Hammer Fight are currently on a US tour and made their way to Los Angeles to headline Metal Monday at the Down & Out Bar in DTLA last night, along with local support acts Panties and Rusty Eye. Put together by prolific local metal promoters Church Of The 8th Day and Thee Static Age, the show promised an entertaining Monday night out for supporters of the metal underground in the area.
Hollywood’s very own horror-themed progressive metal trio Rusty Eye originated in Mexico City in 1995 and transitioned to becoming an LA band a decade later while still keeping their roots intact. Of late, they went through some lineup instabilities but are now getting back into the groove by playing the occasional local gigs, with original drummer/vocalist Miss Randall returning on the kit. Here they played an 8-song set consisting of three covers off of the latest Rusty Eye album ‘Saca El Cobre’, their all-covers tribute to a selection of Mexican music groups/artists, along with a few of their original tunes including a Spanish version of ‘Mr. Cannibal’. The covers are clearly targeted towards their Spanish-speaking fan base and for people unfamiliar with the original artists or the language, it’s a little hard to follow these tunes and takes a bit of getting used to. So for me, the original Rusty Eye tunes still stood out as the more enjoyable parts of the set, specially ‘Mr. Cannibal’ wherein Mr. Rust’s bass line is strongly reminiscent of Iron Maiden’s Steve Harris, and ‘Mondo Cane’ in which guitarist Baron Murtland gets to express himself fully as the band lays into some proggy jamming. Performance-wise, all three members were solid but it was clear to me that they can reach higher levels if they play on a more regular basis. Rusty Eye is undoubtedly an intriguing band in its own unique, weird ways, and it’s be good to see them back playing shows again.