Alley Katz, 7/25/08, 10:00PM
A Taste of Thousand Yard Stare
2007 was a great year for the RVA metal scene, with spectacular bands coming out of the woodworks like college kids to beer, it really was a year to go big or go home. If one was to ask around for the best bands in the local metal niche the answers found would vary greatly, but there would be one definite constant, Thousand Yard Stare. Founded in 2006 by Jason Brown and Scot Long (both formerly of Undone and Preshus) and rounding out their sound with Rodney Barnett, Garrett Grubbs (formerly of 15 Minutes of Shame) and Chris Rutherford (former singer for Preshus) these guys enjoyed much success in the local scene, but change was coming.
Fast forward to February of 2008, Thousand Yard Stare hadn’t had a show since November and was searching for a new guitarist. Hope was not far off, however, because out of the ashes of Burn to the Core stepped Ben Rinker ready to take on duties as axeman for this metal machine. After five months holed up in practice and writing, local metal heads held their breath when TYS made the announcement that they would return to the stage, at non-other than Alley Katz.
Many of the locals wondered if these metal mad dogs would have the same power they once had, could they reclaim the title as one of Richmond’s best? Even after a seven month disappearance and a change in the lineup?
At 10:00 on July 25th I found myself walking through the familiar foyer of Alley Katz to find out just that. Standing in the familiar smoke filled room, I saw many faces I had become accustomed to seeing at only the best shows, these were the faces of guys and chicks who knew their metal, and this was judgment day. The chilled atmosphere surrounding the crowd during the first bands set, slowly became more attentive and tense as the members of TYS started to recede back to corner where their instruments waited. Watching the crowd I noticed a keen sense of curiosity over Rinka, the new comer, there was some buzz about if indeed he could compare to Rodney Barnett, a key component in the TYS of yesteryear.
Tuning came and tuning went, without even a hint of what was to come, these guys were good at keeping a crowd in suspense. All eyes in the room were on the stage and it seemed as though even the walls held their breath, the lights went down and Rutherford stepped up to the mic, and after a shout out of “what’s up Richmond?” came a thunderous assault on the ears, Thousand Yard Stare had returned.
With heavy riffs, machine gun rhythm and melodic madness right out of the gate, it was clear from the first note that they were here to conquer. From “Residence” to “A Chance Meeting” to “The Dead in The Corner” Rutherford’s powerful vocals and primal screams were dead on, and with Brown, Long, Grubbs, and Rinka doing their thing as only the best can, it became clear that not only had Thousand Yard Stare returned, Thousand Yard Stare was here to stay.
After a few shout outs and thank yous from the band (Chris from Alley Katz, Justin from Saint Diablo (for running lights), The Bartender, NUMA, Remembrance, and Halflit Halo) The band proceeded to dedicate a song, “Fascist Freaks,” to Rob Baylor (original member of Preshus) who couldn’t resist the opportunity to rejoin his old bandmates, and jumped up on the stage to sing.
The crowd was going nuts from the first note to the last, the moshing got intense and the head banging even more so, Thousand Yard Stare is incredible blend of raw talent, high energy, in your face metal, that is sure to raise the standard of new and old bands alike. A live show shouldn’t be missed.
By: Crystal Snyder
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