With groups like Whitesnake struggling to land gigs at places like Uncle Fucker's Chuckle Hut, you might actually believe all the crap about metal being dead. Truth told, metal didn't die -- it just cleaned house. Gone are the days when leopard-print-clad hairspray addicts paraded around onstage like guest stars on Fantasy Island. Today, metal is leaner, meaner, and speeding out. San Francisco's Old Grandad epitomize the gurgling power-surge of new metal kicking open clubs overrun by pseudo-punk and fluffy Britpop. Their new CD, OGD EP, follows the debut Vol. 666 with a mix of five new bile-breathing songs and a few live numbers. Old Grandad -- Max Barnett on bass, Erik Moggridge on guitar, and Will Carroll on vocals and drums -- put extra muscle into tracks like the blindingly fast "The Highs That Bind," a spider's weave of Carroll's guttural roars and Moggridge's rampaging Cuisinart-style axe. The musicianship rips, but Old Grandad's best assets are a good sense of humor and a fearsome live show. Onstage, the band conveys serious energy absent in today's overproduced pop-rock kitsch; the crowd responds with crazed looks and pumping Satan's horns, and the hippies look nervous. This is not your big sister's metal.
-- Robert Arriaga
Old Grandad perform Thursday, Nov. 20, at 9 p.m. at the Chameleon, 853 Valencia (at 19th Street). Sangre Amato and Hatred open. Tickets are $4; call 821-1891.