by Nathan Carson

Samus Aran Thurs May 22

Meow Meow

Weaned on west coast hardcore and heavy cult acts like Man is the Bastard, Samus Aran belt out primal noise anthems in fitful bursts. The drums, bass, and screaming add up to something like if both guys in Lightning Bolt had two breaks in each arm but kept playing anyway. Painful and effective, there's a true savant attack in these minute long anti-tunes that is undeniably musical and valid. From effected bass-squalls over blast beat drums to retarded almost-grooves under punctuated grunts and screeches, there are methods at work that make Naked City start to sound way too collegiate.

Initially a joke inspired by their namesake (the female bounty hunter from Nintendo's cult-turned-ubersuccess franchise Metroid), Samus Aran has grown from spazz-art-concept rock to one of the more heralded extreme acts in a town with no shortage of such. James's sludge-to-grind drumming compliments Seth's sonic bass barrage. Tying it all together is full-time vox/shrieker Eryn, whose waifish good looks contrast with her balls-out tormented performance and lyrics about "vomiting on you while we kiss."

When geeks and metal collide, the results can be beautiful. Eryn and Seth have been listening to James wax on about the virtues of his impressive extreme vinyl collection, and the video game that got them here: "I've recently been playing Metroid Fusion for Gameboy Advance. That game owns all other Metroid. I also bought Metroid 2 the other day, but haven't played it since it came out originally. I want to play Metroid Prime but I don't have an extra $150 to drop on a Gamecube," he laments.

With growing notoriety in the Northwest and coveted shows like Ladyfest Seattle and Blood Brothers support slots dropping in their laps, space is the limit for Samus. Future plans include touring to the top and representing Portland right ("I think we are going to have Everclear open for us on tour"). It seems everyone in town is pushing the limits of what "less is more" can really mean.

James has beaten Metroid I in 42 minutes. The average Samus Aran set is around 10.