Review: Wolf Eyes w/ Lwa, Crackity Sax, and Trash Dog

Just when I thought I knew what to expect at a “noise show,” the fine folks performing at the Picador on Saturday night, threw me a curveball.

The night started with the high, hard heat of Trash Dog. The quartet, comprised of a trio of guitars and a drummer, brutalized their instruments with minute-long songs that fit somewhere in between noise, punk, and a train wreck. They filled the short songs with scream-therapy vocals and blistering, overdriven guitar workouts.

The one-off project Crackity Sax was a saxophone trio featuring former Violent Femmes sax man Peter Balestrieri and another guy on tenor and a lady on baritone. They knocked out a handful of jazz standards — including a rousing version of “Minnie the Moocher — then capped the whole thing off with a free jazz explosion from the catalog of Mr. Albert Ayler.

As the final burps and bleets emitted from the saxophones on stage, Lwa began murmuring and mumbling in the corner by the soundboard. The local and impressive noise duo began with a hissing rumble, steadily augmenting their sound with stabs of feedback and distorted vocals. They eventually peaked with a lush crackling swell. It was awesome.

Wolf Eyes, the psychedelic, noise trio out of the Motor City, took the stage last. One third fist-pumping bombast, one third epileptic seizure, and one third anesthetized haze, Wolf Eyes’ spasms of overdrive out-trashed Trash Dog, and their hissy restraint out-subdued Lwa at their mellowest. This was a set by pros. In a night populated by bands still growing and evolving (Lwa), one-offs (Crackity Sax) and yet another Night People side project (Trash Dog), Wolf Eyes know the game and how it should be played.

About the Author

University of Iowa graduate with BAs in English and Cinema Studies. John bides his time as a staff writer for and with contributions to Little Village Magazine ( John hosts an hour-long show on Monday's at 5 pm through the University of Iowa's radio station 89.7 FM KRUI ( dedicated to Iowa music. "Corn Fed Music" is a showcase for Iowa artists, musicians formerly from Iowa, and acts visiting Iowa. This is a forum open for guest DJs, in studio performances, interviews, and new material offered to those who may not have access to larger media outlets. If you're interested in getting a song played, an interview, or performing a short set (20-45 min) in studio you can contact John at