Fighting Cassius and Archaelyda, Aug.15, House show 

A living room in Meridian was the spot to hear not one, but two local bands shred on Saturday night, when Fighting Cassius and Archaelyda played a joint show. Meridian may not be the first spot that comes to mind for either music or partying, but two homeowners who bought a keg of Kokanee, ordered an abundant amount of pizza and booked the bands, set out to change that.

Fighting Cassius opened the evening. With a lineup that inclludes members of both the original group as well as friends from former band the Edison Agenda, the songs they played were a synthesis of styles. The aggressive guitars, complex rhythms and scream-laden vocals gravitated toward heavy without devolving into showboat excess and created a pensive atmosphere as well as induced head banging. Two covers worked their way into the setlist: Thrice's punk-infused "The Artist in the Ambulance," as well as the Blink-182 classic "Dammit," both of which were received enthusiastically. As their lead singer was out of state at the time, Fighting Cassius was left to improvise vocal duties.

Reflective of the experimental stance on music they hold, Archaelyda took the idea of the power trio in a different direction. Instead of a bass guitar, two guitarists traded off playing rhythm and lead as well as singing. The absence of low-end was not a disadvantage at all, but rather gave more ground for unorthodox creative potential. Archaelyda's songs morphed constantly, moving in unexpected directions just when a structure was beginning to gain substance. Supported by rapid-fire drums, the duo of guitars charged from unadorned hard riffs to almost synth-like lead, taking the show on a constant spiral of innovative twists.

If you didn't happen to be hanging in Meridian, fear not. The show went so well the hosts invited the bands back to play again. They might even be more Kokanee and pizza.

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