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July 14, 2012 | 12:30 p.m. CST
The next time the Columbia-based hard rock trio The Many Colored Death performs, it won't be hard to tell. Aside from the electric riffs and bass rhythms audible from a block away, the show goers will be a dead giveaway. Swinging their heads back and forth like Pez dispensers in the hands of a hungry child, they'll headbang so far and fast you would think their heads would detach. After all, rubber bands snap when they're stretched past a point. Surely necks run the same risk. But relax, there's no need to call the paramedics.
At an intensity and volume that would fall between the hardest rock (diamonds) and metal, The Many Colored Death played a set of music that would take show goers' hearts and fast-pitch it against the back wall of The Bridge had ribcages not been developed. Forget turning it up to 11 — these guys took the volume knob and broke it right off.
It's probably good then that the entire night's show gradually led up to these triple-digit decibels. Randi March, an acoustic singer and Roxy's bartender, opened the night with her low-key strumming and an impressive control of the upper octave. After admitting that it would've been better to postpone her tattoo than get it right before her guitar playing, March covered her "favorite Jewel song" and "Zombie (in your head)" by The Cranberries and crowd-tested some new songs in the works.
Paper Anchors, a female duo from Springfield, took the stage next and brought the audience a little closer to the throbbing cacophony of the main act. It draws comparisons to M83, Tegan and Sara and Ellie Goulding, but one could also add Paramore to the list. The duo's biggest response of the night came after a cover of David Guetta and Sia's "Titanium."
On the subject of titanium, it appears The Many Colored Death frontman Brent Moore's vocal cords might be made of the metal. He seemed to give his all into every song; to squeeze out the juice box until it became an empty paper shell. But this was not the case — every song felt like his first — and rather than drain Moore, it energized him.
Wielding electric weapons of musical destruction, the three rockers (Moore, Preston Rodgers on bass and Shea Spence on drums) jammed with elements of both Coheed and Cambria and Sum 41. At times, Moore sounded exactly like Robert Plant. And despite the omnipresent cymbals and lack of any rests between notes (it was all loud, all the time), the vocals were easily discernible. Acoustics like that do not come around often.
In between crowd banter that would fit on a morning talk show, the band played tracks including "Falling Farther From You" and fan favorite, "Charlie the Demon Slayer."
It's unclear what a many colored death would entail exactly. But if it involves anything resembling the raucous rawk no doubt still ringing in ears from last night, then it doesn't seem like such a bad way to go.