Railroad to Alaska - La Cave- August 3, 2013
By: Kyle Cavaness
Railroad to Alaska
August 3, 2013
Railroad to Alaska's Saturday night out at La Cave was promoted in part as a celebration of lead singer/guitarist Justin Suitor's birthday, and the band bashed through their eight-song set with an efficiency that suggested much, much drinking was sure to follow.
Squeezed into the subterranean confines of Costa Mesa's favorite underground restaurant/bar/venue, Railroad's complex metal noodlings tightened into a more streamlined, punk-ified sound. Away from the larger stages the band has commanded recently - including a brief stint on the Warped Tour - Suitor and Jeff Lyman's guitars blended into a buzzsaw that cut through the Costa Mesa crowd.
The secret weapon that sets Railroad apart from mere mortal metal bands - and a trait that helped earn them Best Live Band at last year's OC Music Awards - is, well, sex. The band sneaks in beats that can make an audience shake its hips as much as bang their heads between drummer Derek Eglit's double-bass pedal work and Suitor's guitar solos. Some of Railroad's grooves, stripped of their down-tuned ferocity, would be right at home in a Prince song. Bassist Cory Blaine somehow managed to walk the fine line between booty-poppin' and thunder-chuckin'.
It's the non-metal moves that Railroad makes that helps keep their music so interesting - the danceable-but-not-quite breakdowns, the odd-meter, prog-infused song sections, three-headed vocal parts, and informal indie-rock presentation adds dimension and depth to what could otherwise be a one-dimensional metal show. Suitor's voice has progressed with the band's sound, moving away from comparisons to Serj from System of a Down into a more controlled and confident tone.