Floor / Thrones - Live in Philadelphia (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Floor / Thrones

Live in Philadelphia (2013)

live show

Nearly everything about Floor's reunion gig at the Barbary Mon., April 1 felt like a setup for an April Fools joke. From the way the show was announced with little fanfare to the early start ‘n' end time so the Barbary could get on with its dance night, this could have been a cruel joke, were it not for the sweet, sludgy riffs.

Previously, Floor's lone self-titled record could essentially have been thought of as a trial run for the kind of sludgy yet sugary metal Steve Brooks created with his next band, the mighty Torche. But with a new full-length in the works, Floor's reunion tour is more than just that, something further solidified by their live set.

But first let's talk about opener Thrones. Joe Preston comes with an epic pedigree (Melvins, Earth, High on Fire), but you'd never know it from his quiet stage presence. Instead, Preston played his one-man sludge metal songs to big applause. Armed with a sampler, a bass and a bevy of effects, Preston dropped one thunderous song after another, although his closing number, a more electronic-based song, was a bit of a head scratcher. Still dig the humorous samples, though.

OK, back to Floor. Oh man, Floor, like Torche, are so, so good. They brought out a good crowd, one prone to headbanging but still down for minding their manners. All the sludgy goodness made for much mirth. And the years have been kind to these tunes. Album cuts like "Scimitar," "Assassin" and "Bombs to Abbadon" sounded amazing. A new tune for that belated follow-up record answered the question of how Torche and Floor can coexist by being surprisingly thrashy and/or punky. Late Floor and early Torche overlap so much it can be hard to hear a difference, but this show hinted at a divergent future for the group. While the set, heck the whole concert, was brief (30 minutes for Thrones; maybe 45 minutes for Floor), Floor still emerged triumphant, and punctual too. I got home to the 'burbs by 10 p.m.