The Shred Factory: Live Review of Megafauna @ Brick and Mortar

06/14/2014

Fact: Dani Neff and Megafauna fucking shred.

Austin natives Megafauna paid us a visit this Wednesday at Brick and Mortar, and they put on an absolute barn burner. Comprised of front-woman Dani Neff (lead guitar and vocals), Zack Humphrey (drums), Bryan Wright (bass), and John Musci (rhythm guitar), the band wasn’t pulling any punches that night — just pumping out slap-you-in-the-face, head-banging rock.

A lot of folks describe their style as prog rock, but I feel that’s almost a pigeonholing term for a band like this. They’re a mixture of intense chord progressions that jump from fast, to double time, to impressive major-minor key shifts, to melt your face shredding somewhere between 90’s grunge and Metallica. (Throw in some crazy Mars Volta breakdowns while you’re at it.) The band was incredibly meticulous and intentional with every note. Pounding drums, ragingly fast, with precise bass work and SCREAMING guitar all blended together to make the best kind of head-banging musical cocktail; shaken, not stirred.

Did I mention that Dani Neff shreds?

They opened up with a super hot “Eggs” right out of the gate, and didn’t slow down at all until they were done for the night. At one point, Neff mentioned, “we’re going to slow things down a bit,” which lasted a grand total of maybe 30 seconds, (which is really how I prefer my live music). One of my favorites was their song “This Town,” a super fast tune that has some seriously impressive full-fretboard riffs (that Neff plays while she’s singing). Another favorite off their new album Maximalist, “Haunted Factory,” is an awesome combination of powerful vocals, a super fat bass line that mirrors Neff’s lead guitar lick, and, you’ll never guess — a massive shred-fest from Dani Neff.

The band has been on tour since April, taking only a week to recuperate in between their East Coast and West Coast legs of the tour, and this hasn’t been a light tour. They’ve hit basically every major music town along the way from New York to Boston, ATL, Raleigh, up to Toronto, then through the midwest, and now are finishing up their tour on the Left Coast. Check out the whole tour schedule here.

One of the most impressive parts of the night was just how tight the band was — completely in sync and beautifully on point the entire show. It’s refreshing to see a band that is pure rock like this, without leaning on any kind of synth-pop/electro crutch. Just good old fashioned, dirty as hell rock.

Check out the photos courtesy of our own Bob Patterson, and give the song below a spin while you do.