SAN FRANCISCO — With their surreal collision of fast food iconography and twisted versions of classic Black Sabbath songs, Mac Sabbath have established themselves as one of the most fiendishly clever parody/metal tribute bands operating today. .
Over the past eight years, the Los Angeles-based band, led by clown-painted vocalist Ronald Osbourne and featuring elaborately costumed members, Slayer MacCheeze on guitar, Grimalice on bass and the Catburglar on drums , went from underground shows to the basements of fast-food restaurants. (at least according to band manager and spokesperson Mike Odd, who oddly sounds a bit like Osbourne without the British accent) to club headliners and big music celebrations like England’s Download Festival and Outside’s own San Francisco Lands Festival.
Armed with an arsenal of well-designed props – including an onstage “grill” that belches smoke, inflatable cheeseburgers and Osbourne’s giant striped straws that the singer uses to sip drinks from unsuspecting audience members – the band became a popular band with their distorted versions of Black Sabbath gems like “Frying Pan” (“Iron Man”), “Pair-a-Buns” (“Paranoid”) and “Sweet Beef” (“Sweet Leaf “). In 2017, Mac Sabbath released a flexi single of “Pair-a-Buns” which came with a special coloring book (the band also released a clay collaboration video for the melody).
The group has continued to create unusual products, this year releasing its limited edition Pop-Up Metal pop-up book they made in collaboration with artist Gris Grimy which includes a “secret vinyl surprise” featuring seven of the band’s recordings of their twisted versions of Sabbath classics.
For this San Francisco show at the Great American Music Hall which is part of their Pop-Up Drive Thru Tour, Mac Sabbath will be joined by high-octane punk/metal band Speedealer. Formed in Lubbock, TX in 1992 as REO Speedealer, the band founded by guitarist/vocalist Jeff Hirshberg put a hardcore spin (and tempo) on ’70s hard rock sounds in a way similar to punk band of Seattle Zeke (whom they would tour with regularly) and the aforementioned Dwarfs.
The band would release a pair of self-titled collections – one in 1996 for Spanish Fly Records and the second in 1998 for Royalty Records – before classic rockers REO Speedwagon issued a cease and desist letter requiring the band to shorten their name to simply Speedealer. Hirshberg cycled through a number of collaborators, picking up guitarist Eric Schmidt and drummer Harden Harrison along the way as the band moved in a more muddy and metallic direction. The band eventually signed with Palm Pictures after Royalty went bankrupt, re-releasing their third album here is death In 2000.
The band toured tirelessly, playing over 250-300 dates a year and supporting the likes of Motorhead, but never achieving more widespread success beyond their fan worship. After releasing Bleed on Dead Teenager Records in 2003, touring fatigue set in and Speedealer went on an extended hiatus only occasionally interrupted by sporadic gigs.
While Schmidt and Harrison played together in other band projects, it wasn’t until they decided to revisit Speedealer’s back catalog with a performance at a fan’s wedding reception a few years ago. under the name Dealer’s Choice that there was enough interest to stimulate them. to renewed activity. Teaming up with Buck Pets bassist Ricky Peterson (who joined Speedealer in 2012) and Swingin’ D-ks vocalist Daniel Barron, Hirshberg and company released Speedealer’s first album in 15 years. Blue days Dark nights delivers exactly the kind of savage sonic fury fans have come to expect from the band. Cinncanati-based cello and drum duo Lung deliver artful punk to open the show.
Mac Sabbath with Speedealer and Lung
Tuesday, September 27, 8 p.m. $20
Great American Music Hall