BROOKLYN, NY—Ask a roomful of people who Floor is and they’ll think you’re either stupid or crazy. Obviously, it’s not a who, it’s a what, and you’re standing on it.
But there are those few (you know, the kind of people who don’t fill rooms) who know Floor as the antecedent to the only slightly better known and critically-stroked Torche, led by Floor guitarist Steve Brooks. The Florida-based Floor were featured on about a million splits and compilations, and they’re also responsible for a handful of 7-inches and two LPs between 1994 and 2002. In a way, it’s a real ‘90s doom story, particularly with Torche’s success as the epilogue.
And as those ‘90s doom stories go, reunion’s the game and the field is Club Europa in Brooklyn.
A fairly in-the-know crowd were in attendance for Floor and their openers, locals Unearthly Trance, Philadelphia’s Javalina and Florida’s Hot Graves, all of whom I missed. Damn early shows. How does one start a metal club show before dark? I don’t understand.
The experience of seeing Floor was something I felt removed from. Not knowing much of the band other than digging the few songs I had heard, I went into this show with little knowledge of the band and their music, and I came out of it only a little more. The underappreciated doom mythos created a kind of clique that I wasn’t a part of, although from the big toothy grins that Steve Brooks and bassist Anthony Vialon were flashing, it seemed the band was having a great time whether I was involved or not.
The crowd up front was really where the energy came from, and I’d say there were two to three dozen people up there that were really into Floor. The remainder seemed more like me; curious, informed but not intimate, and intrigued by the reunion. That didn’t make me feel any more like I had a place in the audience, but it did reinforce the legend (or hype, depending on how you read it) of the band.
I’ll say this, it was pretty rocking. Big, chunky riffs and breakdowns were on display, and at no point did I get the “this doom metal is too smart for you” vibe that seems to follow around these reunions like a hungry alley cat. The band seemed very happy to be there and enjoying the experience.
The show didn’t stick with me, probably because I didn’t have much to draw from in the first place, but it was a genuinely enjoyable experience. As I didn’t go in with any expectations, it didn’t disappoint, and while the fleeting moment isn’t burned into my brain as a not-to-be-missed event of 2010, it was enough to make the trip in.