Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Unlocking the Truth at the Studio at Webster Hall

Brooklyn-based vocalist/guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, 13, and drummer Jarad Dawkins, 12, met in church when they were toddlers and became reacquainted as children at a birthday party in 2005. They were elementary school students by the time they began jamming in the Brickhouse family's basement in 2007, imitating the heavy metal sounds they heard in Japanese anime and wrestling videos. Sensing the need to add more sound, they taught their friend, Alec Atkins, now 13, to play bass in 2012. Two years ago, passersby catching Unlocking the Truth busking on Times Square and in Washington Square Park posted videos on social media and these videos went viral. Although the musicians are still in middle school, the heavy metal trio was offered a lucrative major label recording contract, and this past summer the band played Coachella, Vans Warp Tour and the Afropunk Festival. The band released a 2014 EP, Free As You Wanna Be.

Unlocking the Truth proved at the Studio at Webster Hall tonight that the band is not your typical boy band. These boys have not been groomed for success by an industry mogul. The band members performed original, genuine metal jams that recalled the early days of speed and thrash metal. They bounced wildly to the grooves onstage propelled by the music rather than in calculated, choreographed moves. Whereas in the past the band's set was comprised of rocket-fueled guitar-crazy instrumentals, Brickhouse sang enough chorus and verse to call the jams a song. By the end of the night, there was only one question to ask: how did musicians this young learn to play so well that they could embarrass veteran musicians five times their age?

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