Words and Photos by Aaron Richter
Whenever I catch a show at Union Pool, I can’t help but wish an unhinged musician would bash in a few of the lights that line the stage’s frame, like Paige or Townsend would have done. Glowing a faint, delicate, nearly-dead yellow, the bulbs are just begging to be crushed, and as the Brooklyn metal trio Tombs unleashed a hefty slug of darkness, I’m certain I glimpsed bassist Carson Daniel James smashing in a couple of those suckers. Badass!
Surrounded by a light but full, subdued crowd, I crouched in the front for a jaw-dropping vantage point and humped the lip of the stage as the band powered through songs such as “Gossamer” and “Golden Eyes.” On record, the tracks yield layered intricacies–probably why the group often gets tagged with My Bloody Valentine comparisons. But live, everything became much more direct and guttural. Rather than slipping beneath headphones to indulge whatever studio tinkery these guys have going on, you’re left to witness the raw trio: fast-picking Mike Hill howling with an earthy, worn bellow, Andrew Hernandez driving time with uncanny precision and James donning the role of stage intimidator. The show offered containment that never felt restrained or stifled.