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Wo Fat tears it up at The Grotto. Photo by Matt Mabe.

Wo Fat

w/Crypt Trip, From Beyond, and Stone Machine Electric

The Grotto

Friday, Jan 27, 2017

Friday night was an unusually heavy night in the West 7th corridor.

On the south side of 7th, you had your usual college-crowd DJs spinning Ariana Grande, but on the north side, you had Big Mike Richardson’s early-era Pink Floyd tribute, Puce Floyd, at Lola’s Saloon, while The Grotto had a mega-heavy bill of some of Texas’ loudest, fuzziest bands.

After I saw Puce Floyd’s truly on-the-numbers rendition of “See Emily Play,” I headed down to The Grotto to catch Wo Fat.

When I arrived, San Marcos’ Crypt Trip was soundchecking. Kind of like the love child of Cream and Deep Purple, this young three-piece – Ryan on guitar, Sam on bass, and Cam on drums – blasted out music that was trippy and constantly changing without ever not being heavy. Cam was a definite standout. He even played a fairly lengthy drum solo, which you don’t really see too often at The Grotto. His style reminded me of both Ginger Baker of Cream and Bill Ward of Black Sabbath at the same time.

Dallas’ Wo Fat was the headliner of this massive bill, and they definitely wore the crown for heaviest band. With their dual-Epiphone attack, they do not let up for one second. Their style is constant, driving detuned heavy rock. “Psychedelic swamp doom” is what they call it themselves.

At this particular gig, their normal bass player, Zack Busby, was not playing due to a “family emergency,” so Crypt Trip guitarist Ryan filled in on bass (as he did on a recent European jaunt with the band), while we had the other two members intact: drummer/vocalist Michael Walter and guitarist/vocalist Kent Stump.

Wo Fat’s music is just as much in the world of “doom” as it is in the realm of open-ended jazzy explorations during the solo sections. But make no mistake. Wo Fat is about as heavy as they come, and if that’s your style, you owe it to yourself to check them out next time they play in the Fort. You will not be disappointed.

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