Attention, metal fans: Zion's Gate, Seattle's premier reggae/metal hybrid record shop (among other genres) is expanding its operation beyond the retail store's Pike Street and 11th Avenue confines. I spoke to owner Stephen Benbrook about his newest endeavor to bring metal to the masses, Kreation Productions—named as such because "Kreator was my favorite band as a kid, and I plan on getting shit done," he explained. Kreation will encompass band management and show production as well as a record label for underground metal/rock acts. "My goal is to really help get Seattle back on the map," says Benbrook. "When people talk about this city, I want them to talk about the great underground metal and rock scenes." His small roster currently includes acts like Wormwood (who will release the debut Kreation Records LP this fall) and Grey, but Benbrook is most enthusiastic about Lesbian, a band featuring members of the Abodox, who will be releasing something on Kreation later this year. "I'm taking them under my wing," Benbrook says of Lesbian. "I think they have a real potential to blow up and be something on the level of a High on Fire."
Benbrook should know his metal—as founder of Zion's Gate, he's been in the record business for six years. His store has fans all over the world; it sends out hundreds of packages a week through online sales—lending Benbrook a built-in demographic when he starts releasing Kreation Records' vinyl-only output. Check out some of the Kreation roster Friday, July 1, when Lesbian, Wormwood, and Grey play with Grievous at Chop Suey.
That same night, Holy Ghost Revival release their new record, Bleeding Light, with a show at the Vera Project. I've been a big fan of this band for a while now; their music is a time capsule to a period much further back and more thought out than the strip-mined eras of '70s punk and '80s pop. With song titles about frozen moons, sound effects of bubbling brooks, and lines like "witches fly on cold winter's night," they mix the black magic of a Renaissance narrative with glam, coming up with a baroque rock sound all their own. Their lyrics hold the romance of days long past, as do the piano-heavy/harmonica-spiked compositions, shooting the music into orbits of dusty moonage daydreams.
Pretty Girls make side projects: The Bullion Brothers played an opening slot for Love as Laughter last week. The band comprises Pretty Girls Derek Fudesco and Jay Clarke and ex-Hint Hint frontman Peter Quirk. Their intense mix of electronic effects, drum machines, and live guitar, bass, and drumming was impressive—and worth keeping an ear out for in the future. They have a handful of shows coming up, and they'll also be playing the Capitol Hill Block Party, which goes down July 30–31. Other confirmed acts on the Block Party bill include These Arms Are Snakes, Blue Scholars, Jerry Abstract, Akimbo, and too many more names to fit here. ■