Keep Houston Press Free

Last Night: Valient Thorr and ASG at the Meridian

Valient Thorr, ASGThe MeridianAugust 6, 2007
Better Than

: Staring at your computer screen, repeatedly hitting the refresh button, in your cold and sterile bedroom.

Download: “Exit Strategy,” which puts any other anti-war song to somber, clean-shaven shame.

With beards of fury and manic stage dances, it’s very possible that Valient Thorr is the closest we will ever get to re-create the energy of those prime late-‘60s MC5 shows. For offspring of the ‘90s weaned on flash and gloom, to see a band with a plain-brown-bag conviction to rock must be life-changing.

Not until last night did I know Valient Thorr had such a young and rabidly militant fanbase. I saw kids with Sharpie-decorated homemade jean jackets and a group of guys, all barely 15 years old, lose their collective shit over a mere sound check. There’s a nation of “Thorriors” just like them all over the world – Imagine the lusty Turbojugend cult that writhes behind Oslo’s Turbonegro. Now, imagine that almost a whole generation removed.

Photos by Craig Hlavaty

Valient Thorr’s rare power cannot be denied. From the opening song, the band formed a symbiotic relationship with their audience, relentlessly pummeling them with sound. Lead singer Valient Himself is the Rob Tyner of this generation, whipping up a hot-headed frenzy and hectoring the crowd about social injustice, as some faithful became victims to the churning pit. “Exit Strategy” is the first anti-war song to cut to the core of the issue, without preaching on a non-existing platform like so many other bands these days.

Preceding Valient Thorr was Volcom tourmates ASG, throwing down towering riffs like a junior Kyuss. Each song was like a high-toned rocket burning through the atmosphere. This music is a soundtrack for leaving, not staying – Abandoning ship, and leaving the unlucky behind.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Critic's Notebook

Personal Bias: This music has served as my soundtrack for getting tattoos and drinking beer for about two years. Plus, any band that reps Alex Jones on their MySpace page is a little piece of alright.

Random Detail: Lead singer Valient Himself wears some sweet-ass wrestling boots.

By the way: Anytime you aim a camera at a group of teenagers at a thrash metal show, someone WILL give you the finger. – Craig Hlavaty

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.