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Sound Circuit

Leaving the House


Ashes Armada plays Vaudeville Mews on Friday, Dec. 5.

Ashes Armada plays Vaudeville Mews on Friday, Dec. 5.

Recent events have caused people to try new things. The end of live music at House of Bricks on Nov. 23 — while not the end of the world some thought it would be — has caused a few bands to look outside their comfort zones. While not the only bar in town that booked metal shows, Bricks was easily the most consistent and accessible for the genre. For several hard rock and metal acts, House of Bricks was more than another venue — it was home. Now that it is gone, metalheads and the bands they love are moving to new places. Ashes Armada is no different.

“This will be our very first time at the Vaudeville Mews,” said Ashes Armada bassist Jake Bates, talking about their show on Dec 5. “We’re excited to see how it will go.”

Mews is no stranger to metal and hard rock acts, but with Bricks’ departure, the venue will most likely see an uptick in the number of shows as it starts to pick up some of the slack. It won’t be the only place: Ashes Armada, for one, has already gotten offers for shows from a number of other venues.

“As sad as I am to see (Bricks) go away, it seems like we’re getting more opportunities,” Bates concurred. “I don’t know if it’s us just growing or other places stepping up, but there have been more opportunities opening up. I like to be an optimist and assume it’s a little of both.”

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In Ashes Armada’s case, it is probably more of the former than the latter. The band has garnered a following by walking the tightrope with its music between overly aggressive and melodic metal. It is a sound that has gained more followers every time the band plays in town. And that is important for an act that hails from tiny Albia.

“We’ve played quite a few big shows (in Des Moines),” said band manager Tim Bates. “Being one of the finalists for the Lazerfest battle of the bands was huge for us.”

So for Ashes Armada, the silver lining to the shuttering of House of Bricks is that it gives the band an opportunity to take its sound to new venues. That, in turn, opens the doors for new fans.

“There will always be aggressive and melodic music,” said guitarist Ryan Craig. “People love rock.” CV

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