Abertooth Lincoln: Friends, Forever

Every “Tunesday” at South Park Tavern for their NTRO/XPO Residency

By W. C. Ruffnel

Abertooth Lincoln is a band about the town. If you open any local newspaper, chances are you’ve seen them or read about them. The reasoning behind this: they’re fucking great. They’re also really nice dudes as well, which also lends itself to the fact that they’re also well respected, especially locally.

Sean Patton of Electric Banana, who played the inaugural night at Abertooth’s NTRO/XPO residency at South Park Tavern, says, “Every time I see Abertooth Lincoln, it’s like I forget how good they are. The blissful riffage and impeccable drumming …  They’re like crime fighters.”

The adoration goes both ways. James Lampe, on guitar and vocals for Abertooth Lincoln, was very excited about playing with Electric Banana.  He says, “They’re two beautiful men and I listen to their music a lot. One of my favorite things to do is play their song ‘Motorcycle’ on guitar when I go home.” Lampe looks forward to the next three Tuesdays at South Park Tavern in order to play with bands that he and the rest of the band “love and respect.”

“Next week we’re playing with Shut Up!” says Lampe. “I think they do the best job of nailing some of that So-Cal pop punk sound that I’ve heard in a very long time. And Nick Hamby is a kick ass guitar player. He plays some sick beef riffs that I like to slug down on.”

“Yes,” adds vocalist Jake Gandert.

“The next week, we’re playing with Maultrain Bearcrash,” says Lampe. “They’re four or five dudes — depending on the night you see them — who cut some deep slices of scuddy rock.”

“Are we scud rock?” asks drummer Mike Werthman.

Lampe responds, “Maybe scrip rock. I like to scrip down on sounds. I like sounds.” And bassist Matt Connor adds, “We’re going to do what we want to do.”

Werthman says, “Maultrain is a band to watch. Should’ve been one of the 16,” and vocalist Jake Gandert agrees.

“The next week, we’re playing with Godbless and Asher Jones,” says Lampe. “Ah, those motherfuckers are rad. They lay down some bellowing groovy tunes and that’s about what they’re best at. I like their beats, I like their rhymes, but I like their attitudes more than that. They’re really good dudes and I’m really proud to be sharing a stage with them.”

Not only does the entire band look like they all walked out of a ‘70s porno (based on facial hair) from the future, they sound like the soundtrack to a ‘70s porno — if it were from 2070. Scrips and scruds courtesy of Werthman, Lampe, Connor and Gandert are all par for the course, but the band’s secret weapon may be Jake’s brother, Josh. Hair slicked back into a ponytail, Josh brandishes a guitar, a saxophone, a synthesizer and a hell of a moustache — all at once. A “musical Voltron” becomes part of the Abertooth Voltron philosophy. The band is progressive rock, a noisy blast of grindcore.

Despite the fact that Abertooth has been around for nearly two years, the band feels it’s very important and really cool to play the residency to reach out to new audiences.

“I’m pretty excited about having a weekly outlet for our deep-seated rage and angst and heartbreak,” says Werthman. “I’m stoked to play with that many bands that are friends of ours in a short amount of time, and in an area that we don’t play as often as others.”

Lampe agrees. His eyes morph into those of a wildcat — his brow furrows, his pulse rises, and he puts his hand on the table.

“Why would you do this residency?” I ask.

“Cause it’s number one,” says Lampe. “It’s my favorite — I love it. It’s a great opportunity to play for people that haven’t heard us yet, and a great opportunity to play with some great local rock bands.”

The band looks forward to playing every Tuesday in March, or “Tunesday” as Lampe has referred to it. The gang encourages everyone to come out at least once and check them out, and to check out the groups they have hand-picked to play with.

“I feel it’s a lot of fun to play on a weekday for people,” says Lampe. “With my friends.”

Patton, a friend, agrees. “They’re local heroes for sure,” he says, gingerly stroking his beard as the crowd and gear dissipates after Tuesday’s performance. “They saved my life.”

Abertooth Lincoln will perform every Tuesday in March at South Park Tavern for the NTRO/XPO Residency. Also on the bills are Maultrain Bearcrash, Shut Up! and Godbless & Asher Jones.

Reach DCP freelance writer W.C. Ruffnel at WCRuffnel@DaytonCityPaper.com.

[Photo: Michele Lorenzo]

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