Photo: Madelyn Boudreaux
Around 100 local members of the Salt Lake industrial scene poured into the glitzy Club Metro on Wednesday night for a free, one-hour long performance by COP International artist Carphax Files, and they were not disappointed.
Fronted by Jasin Monday with Chad Painter on keys and live sequencing and joined by Jeremiah Smith (who more commonly fronts the gothpop powerhouse, Redemption) on guitar and more keyboards, Carphax Files is an explosion of unholy rage at the political machine, but underpinned by a sensitivity to the plight of the people. A new Carphax Files t-shirt declares that they are the 99%.
Begun in 2000, Carphax Files was signed to COP in 2003. After Gladerial Stoss—who inspired Monday to start the band—left in 2005, Painter joined. There have been some personnel changes over the years, and Monday moved back to North Carolina in 2010. When they were unable to play the 2011 Dark Arts Festival, Monday decided to come back to play a free show, but plans were put on hold after Stoss died. Finally, several friends and fans donated enough money to help bring Monday back to Salt Lake City for this show.
Hitting the stage covered in ashes and carefully-applied filth (ok, probably baby powder, but shhh, don’t tell), the barefoot, zombiefied Monday opened the show on his knees, lighting candles while Smith and Painter laid down a wall of electronically induced insanity. From there, it was a non-stop show of intensity, with Monday alternately bounding up and down, rolling on the ground, slamming into delighted audience members, ripping his clothing further into shreds, and shrieking like a vengeful spirit. Both Painter and Smith provided backing vocals throughout the show.
The band played a variety of old favorites—most notably the club favorite “Another Chance to Kill” and the crowd-pleasing “Common Breed.” On a slightly more somber note, ringed with candles, they performed “Angel Servant” dedicated to former member Gladerial Stoss, who died suddenly and unexpectedly last July. Finally, they ended the show with a couple of new songs, including the lovely synthpop theme, “Hope” (which I had the good fortune to hear right after it was recorded, thanks to Painter), and ended the show on a lighter note with an amusingly hard cover of “Baby Got Back” featuring the opening riff from Europe’s “The Final Countdown.”
Look for the upcoming new Carphax Files CD, Revolutions vol. 2 Mud, tentatively due out in spring 2012. Find them online at carphaxfiles.com and on Facebook.