Thursday, September 20, 2012
Three Days of shows- May 24th-26th show reviews
Three Days of Shows: May 24th-26th show reviews
This was a surprisingly diverse, very fun set of shows that took place in Detroit over three days (they were unrelated to one another). All were preceded by a not-so-nice 8-hour day at work for me, so these things were a real solace for me. Two were at some rad DIY plays that have been gaining influence in our scene as of late, and one was at a decent bar right around the corner from where I live. All the bands on separate were only connected by a common metropolitan area, Detroit. This set of shows is particularly notable because of how diverse it all was, and how this diversity has been a noteworthy trait for our scene.
Day 1: May 24th, Crow Manor- Axe Ripper, Tell All Your Friends, Most Heinous
I arrived just as Axe Ripper was starting- I heard the interlude to “No Way Out” as I was driving by the spot, quickly finding a parking place and entering. As it turned out, the set was to be a split set between them and Tell All Your Friends, a local pop punk band from the Hazel Park/ Warren/ Madison Heights are (to my knowledge). If this was a split set, it was a very long one, not what I’m used to seeing in the length of such sets. In any case, Axe Ripper’s set really showed them as being a band that sounds killer in a house/ enclosed spot, a very uncommon feature with a metal band. They even got a small pit going, mostly during their song “Spitting Teeth”, their most punk/ hardcore influenced song. The set was subject to periodic tradeoffs with Tell All Your Friends- a band that has a few good songs mixed with a lot of boring pop punk. Granted, the band didn’t pull their usual antics of playing for hours on end (which they have done before), so it’s a positive first step. With it being a mix of short, fast tunes and longer, more dreary songs, it came off as a Best Idea Ever sort of influenced band. Pop punkers would like it, but it lacks the energy that angrier punk/ hardcore has. Oh well- diff’rent strokes for diff’rent blokes.
Then, out came the touring band from New Orleans, Most Heinous. I had NO idea what to expect, so when the band cranked out a furious fastcore set wracked with energy from both the band and the crowd, I was positively taken aback. Wow- this band feels like it should have come off the 625 Thrashcore roster, but they didn’t (at least, not yet). They unleashed one of the best sets of thrashy hardcore in recent years. One could make a legitimate comparison to Rat Storm, though this motley crew had a less politically themed lyrical mindset. Fuckin’ stellar.
Day 2: May 25th, New Way Bar- Come Out Fighting, Not Ok., Burn the Hearse, Poison Tongues, Fight It Out, Sawchuk
Come Out Fighting, fresh off their 5-month hiatus, came out fighting indeed. They banged out some good 90s-era posi-core. Not different enough to be out of step, exactly, but it’s still a little deviant- worth watching.
Not Ok was a strange mix of punk, post-hardcore, and a few other odd genres blended into an energetic set that blew out the voice of singer Brenden. It was NOT what the general idea of energetic hardcore usually entails, but it wowed me still. I liked the fact that it was still heavy and filled with youthful anger and angst. Probably going to be a very diverse band in the very near future.
Next was Burn the Hearse, a metal band with some hardcore influences. I was not big on the band, because mixing metal and hardcore together is a very daunting, careful task, and my senses indicated that it was not mixed well- seemed like more of a Hatebreed than a Hirax. Not my thing, so I’m not really the right person to judge a band like this.
Poison Tongues followed with- not too bad of a set by them. They continue the same sort of angry, nihilistic 90s metalcore Earthmover made popular, just with a bit of a different sound and name. The rage has not diluted over time for singer Lenny- this is what hardcore and punk is about, the raw anger and fury, coupled with the punching power chords of the guitars. Look out for their upcoming LP.
Fight It Out was next, and they busted out with some introverted angry 90s hardcore. Nothing stand out-ish, but I dig it regardless. I prefer my hardcore to be about hating other people and being depressed- maybe something’s wrong with me, but I like to think it’s everyone else. I suspect I’m not alone.
Closing was Sawchuk- much like Fight It Out, this is how I like my hardcore, except these dudes are more anthemic with their songs- it works better for them. Hopefully they keep up the good work.
Day 3: May 26th, The Gulag- Final Assault, Scum, Krang, Shitfucker
Final Assault cranked out more good ole’ D-beat anarcho punk- not reinventing the wheel, but making the wheel spin as best as it can. They came out with a few new tracks too- it’s always more fun to see the new tracks live first. These vets know how to do their shit- I can’t find a better anarcho punk band still playing out in the Midwest. You all know how big a fan I am of these guys- this didn’t disappoint.
Following was Scum, occupants of the house (3/4, at least). I like the raw D-beat these guys do- it’s very primitive punk rock, of which I cannot express any hate for. However, the one flaw that I can’t escape is the feedback on the recordings (and somewhat so live as well). I know punk rock isn’t about being totally professional or perfect, but a degree of effort ought to go in making a band’s sound clear and discernible. Sadly, the trend of noise music crossed over into punk, and has made all the instruments into one giant, fuzzy cluster(fuck). Other than this, the D-beat is strong in these ones.
Next was Krang, an epic crust band from Chicago. I was strongly taken aback by how good this set was- the guitar work alone was amazing. As for the rest, the band seems to have dropped the political overtones of their music (as found in former band Expendable Youth) in favor of stranger, far more interesting lyrics; it’s safe to say that it’s for the better. The songs are heavy and almost enchanting, like they would belong in some sort of ancient pagan ritual. At the end of the set, the band dove into their signature song “Sounds of Death”, which inspired a giant apartment pit, and had about half the room screaming the chorus to the song- this image really reminded me of what a punk/ hardcore show is supposed to be about; an inspiring image, no doubt.
Concluding the night was Shitfucker, and this time, I don’t know what to think. I think I might have missed something, as I lack an opinion- not bad or good, I simply was perplexed. There was lots of double bass drumming, which made for a lot of good headbanging, but other than that, I am truly at a loss for words on Shitfucker’s set on this given evening. Other people seemed to dig it, though.
These three straight days of punk shows were some of the better shows of this year, I must say. It lied mostly in the sheer diversity of show line-ups in such a short spread of time. It shows that Detroit has a positively heterogeneous pool of punk-influenced bands who contribute to one overall music scene in a fantastic way. More times like this in the future, kthxbai!