とても可愛いですよ!Shonen Knife at the Great Scott

This is going to be bar none, the most un-metal show I’ve ever written about. I shall now vainly attempt to justify it by mentioning that Shonen Knife are fans of Motörhead and have done a song with the warthog Lemmy. Now I have cause to continue.

Opening the show were local rockers, The Moan, who claim to be from space.
From what I can gather, they are a rather new band, and having 75 FB likes as well as no music online, I’m surprised they secured a spot opening for Shonen Knife of all bands. They’re a two-piece that could be likened to Garage meets Hard Rock band The White Stripes, but I hate them so I won’t. Instead, I’ll go ahead and compare them to The Pretenders, a largely British Proto-Punk band fronted by an American lass named Chrissie Hynde, sans the “fuck off” attitude. It was hit-or-miss for me personally, and the stage presence reflected an individual who wished to be anywhere but on a stage, though since they are a fledgling act and certainly not bad at what they do, they can’t really sour their reputation unless they start covering “Doorbell”.

Keeping in the two-piece streak were White Mystery, a red-headed brother-sister tag-team that should have been around long ago so they could have ended up on the Jet Set Radio Future soundtrack alongside BIS’ “Statement Of Intent” and Guitar Vader’s “Baby-T”

Face the flame!

With a mixture of British Invasion-era fuzz, some psychedelic leanings, and an all-American pop sensibility, there was no shortage of catchy songs, so good show by the ginger roots. I definitely would see them again, though I may only get that chance if they come around supporting a similarly old school band like Royal Headache.

Shonen Knife is one of those bands that if you hear them and have a heart, you’ll be fighting to keep a stupid grin from creeping onto your face. Being from Japan, a land that has engineered every export to appeal to the part of our frail American minds that has an insatiable craving for adorable things, and fully embracing the tendency to put cute cartoons and a lackadaisical attitude that would tell you America isn’t currently slaughtering people abroad and oppressing minds at home, Shonen Knife is what one listens to when they just want to be happy. No matter how old, what subculture you hail from, or your gender, you’re not going to resist.

Shonen Knife borrow equally from the poppy surf rock of the Beach Boys, stripped-down Punk in the shape of The Ramones, a distinctive J-Pop feel, and yet there’s a certain low-fidelity atmosphere around it that prevents it from being too squeaky-clean. With a career spanning over 30 years, and being able to boast that Kurt Cobain was a huge fan, one can say with certainty that they’ve led a hell of a career. Live, they’re surprisingly loud, and seeing as the last time I saw a band that made that much noise was New York’s own Sludge/Doom titans Tombs. The only difference being that Tombs was probably not intended to be that loud.

It is a shocking sight when people break out into moshing during Shonen Knife. It was among the last things I expected, being a show headlined by one of the most bubblegum bands I actually enjoy. Alas, once they played a cover of The Ramones’ “Rock & Roll High School”, it was a mess of pogoing, silly dancing, and playful shoving. Ah, to be young. The setlist included four songs from their newest release, Pop Tune, which, as the title suggests, is turning out to be their most straightforward and poppy (go figure) to date.

This coming from  a band who wrote a song about a giant kitty where the chorus is repeating “Big, big. Big, cat!”. I suppose the future for Shonen Knife means less songs about household appliances, animals, sexy bitches, and food, and a bit more about having fun. Well, they were already about having fun, but one can expect the material focus shall dwindle a bit. Shonen Knife is the only band I’ve ever seen that seemed to quite literally enjoy every second they spent onstage, and I’m sure the audience felt the same way. I sure did.

They’ve been around for a long time, and have written many songs, but they’ve never quite mastered the English language. All part of the plan to be cute, I wager. They’re invading our minds, and making us love them, so that when they wage full-scale war on them, we’ll be helplessly drawn to the googly-eyed monstrosities and loud colors that we’ve grown addicted to as a society. Until the day comes where Pokémon is weaponized to its fullest extent (not counting the Porygon seizure inducing test trials), I’ll hope Shonen Knife writes a song about potatoes.

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The Pit Is Fucking Alive. Refused and OFF! and The House Of Blues

Let’s just start by giving a big round of applause to everyone who, despite the known presence of secret police in Boston who aim to stop people from having fun, made this night a show to remember. One of the most important Punk tours of the decade no doubt, with a touch of political and social dissent. Spit in the face of authority and let loose.

Starting off the festivities was OFF!, fronted by the legendary Keith Morris, some old balding dreadlocked bastard from bands you’ve never heard of including Black Flag and The Circle Jerks, along with cast-offs from failures like Rocket From The Crypt, Redd Kross, and other stuff no one cares about. All joking aside, this here is a group of seasoned musicians who know what they’re doing. It usually helps your live show when you’re skilled, I hear.

In OFF!’s 45 minute (or hour) long set, I’m pretty sure they actually played almost every song in their two LP/an EP or four discography. This despite the fact that Morris, being an embattled veteran of the Punk scene as well as fairly aged, he’s seen a lot, done a lot, is fed up with a lot, and is unafraid to make a rousing speech the likes of which follower Henry Rollins could have borrowed his style from. These elements come together to make a refreshingly old school sound that’s not dating itself.

Once they hit the stage and began setting up, I was apprehensive as to the energy level, and if my fellow crowd members would be willing to break free of the constraints so flimsily placed by the friendly neighborhood BPD. For the first few songs, there was a curtain of nervousness in the air as Morris and Co. bandied about, letting loose while the audience gazed furtively at itself, hoping that someone would make a move to break the metaphorical ice. It almost goes without saying that high energy Punk Rock goes a long way to bring about the emotional climate for rule-breaking and general not-giving-a-fuck-ness. By the third or fourth song, all pretense was dropped, and the circle pit was it.

In between bombardments by ancient Punk rhythms and seething vitriol, one could catch a glimmer of Morris’ humble nature, and his unwillingness to think himself higher than anyone despite the fact that he’s led a much more interesting life than your average punx. It’s this humility and good nature that leads to fans being able to get pictures and just have a nice chat with the man.

And almost have your face stolen.

About a half an hour before Umeå, Sweden’s own left-wing singer-songwriter gentlemen Refused officially began their set, the crowd began to notice that instead of random rock tunes playing over the stereo as normal, it was some odd low droning ambiance that put a disturbing atmosphere over the venue. It gradually grew louder with every passing minute, and when the time came, the crowd took its position, pointed directly at the stage where a large black curtain was draped over the band as they clandestinely set up. As the drone intensified, it began to resemble a long sustained guitar chord. With time, the ambient sound created a mixture of fear, anticipation, and a sort of battle readiness for the oncoming insanity. Lights over the stage, we realized, were panning ever so slowly down toward the crowd, practcally turning in step with the increasing loudness of the ambiance. As the sound and lights swelled to full realization and the lights overhead dimmed, the crowd could see that the black curtain had REFUSED cut out of it as the light shone through.

The pre-game spectacle seems to be growing into a review of its own, so let’s move on, eh?

The energy from OFF!’s set was great, but as soon as Refused opened with “Worms Of The Senses / Faculties Of The Skull”, the floor became a veritable feeding ground where tooth and claw ruled the scene, and those who could not fight were destroyed in seconds. One thing about this show that was particularly amazing was that not only was everyone into it, but the sheer diversity of people attending who all just got it. There were Metalheads, -Core kids with swoopy hair, old school NxYxHxC looking guys, huge besweatered Hardcore bros with flatbill caps, dyed/bleached punx in leather jackets with skulls on them, you name it. To shout words of protest alongside a smorgasbord of countercultures is truly empowering.

The set was varied enough, considering their discography currently stands at 5 EPs and three LPs.  Though I am disappointed that they don’t play anything off This Just Might Be… The Truth (namely “Pump The Brakes”), their most heavy and straightforward release, I feel as though it ultimately wouldn’t mesh well with the material from The Shape Of Punk To Come and Songs To Fan The Flames Of Discontent, which lean towards a sort of Post-Hardcore/Experimental Rock sound, but have just enough heaviness and hard-hitting aggression to merit their place among the Punk/Hardcore greats of history. From the two-step swing of “Summerholidy vs Punkroutine” to the cannonading lyrical assault of “Refused Are Fucking Dead” (my personal favourite), and the turncoat anthem “Coup D’Etat”, all coupled with vocalist Dennis Lyxzén musing on how prophetic his lyrics of top-down oppression are in hindsight, it was all around a spectacular showcase of how Punk Rock is not just three chords and an angry British or Californian man shouting about the impending police state. Take some notes from the seminal volume Songwriting Tips For Anarchists, by U. Kuhnt, which simply contains the words “OPPRESSORS: FUCK OFF” in large, bold, red print, and listen to some Refused. You’ll be much wiser for it. In the meantime, should Refused repeat this tour, being fully active once again since 1998, and you for any reason missed this, your redemption shall come swift as an assassin’s blade under cover of night.

To whoever lost the shoe pictured at the right, I’m sure it was well worth the small loss. Its silhouette stands out among the appeased horde cheering one of the most important Punk bands of modern times making its return like phoenices from ashes long forgotten, faintly resembling the shape of an axe, which I’ll allow you, the reader, to mark with some obtuse political symbolism. I’m stumped, if you ask me.

Labrynthian As Well As Sharp. Razormaze at the Temple Of D00M

I know what you’re going to say: Crypter headlined, as this was their tour kickoff, dicks for brains! Well, kindly fuck off, but first let me tell you that the bus schedule prevented me from seeing their set, which I’m sure ripped the poor innocent house a new one. Even earlier, I had suffered a double whammy of missing Xatatax, as well as sporting quite the fat lip from a punch to the mouth, courtesy of the homeless of Harvard Square. In short: Never, ever, EVER, dare crazy people to hit you.

Observe and learn.

I managed to catch Rozamov‘s set, which I’m going to assume is spearheading a movement of Commie Pinko metal because I’m xenophobic. Let’s see how far they get with their odd Sludge/Doom drudgery interspersed with Thrashy bits and a zombie mosh that more closely resembles your usual Thrashers vaguely sporting claw shaped hands. I moderately enjoyed what I heard, but I need more convincing that they are loyal to the capitalist cause. More speed!

Up next is a band that on the other hand, doesn’t know how to slow down, my homeb0iz Razormaze, voted Boston Music Awards’ sexiest band 40 years running, and maintaining a glossy sheen despite the basement heat stench.

Any trve ‘Maze fan was shocked by the news that Dave (pictured far left) quit due to difficulties with the other members. We were aghast, what would they do without his unique 8-string wizardry? The suspense was cut short when an honourable and equally skilled knight Ser Joe Gettler stepped up to the fore and announced his loyalty to the round table of booze and whoring. Dave’s presence shall be missed, as long as we’re distracted by critically scrutinizing Joe’s performance and making sure he hits every note right. SPOILER: He does.

Razormaze have reminded me just how much I missed basement Thrash shows. Must be the familiar scent of stale bread and boar sweat left to ferment in a cask in the Marianas trench, with a hint of cologne for the ladies. That or the fact that the space constraint doesn’t prevent full fledged mayhem. However, one aspect of underground Metal shows I didn’t miss was the aptitude for technical difficulty. Oi vey, the technical difficulties! Eats up time and leaves the audience to sit and bake like a cloth and flesh cobbler. Alex’s guitar was completely fucked, so another had to be brought in from another band’s equipment. In the meantime, Nick and Sam, the most adorable rhythm section in the world, showed off their improv skills and made great court jesters while the swords were sharpened. Due to this unforeseen break, only 4 songs were  played, but luckily they included the mighty Lobotomized as well as the catchier than thou Karma In/Karma Out, so I have no real complaints. A guest appearance by Dan Hammer’s ass (of Skullhammer and Sonic Pulse fame) stole the night, having made itself visible and on the prowl for the greater part of Razormaze’s musical portion. If you were curious as to how much junk Dan has in his trunk, and didn’t attend this show, you missed out.

Overall, despite any hurdles to be leapt, it proved a great night, mainly because I hadn’t seen Razormaze in so long and missed them and their rockin’ tits. One must stop to wonder if they had more up their sleeves that night, though their lack of actual sleeves, being shirtless or wearing tanktops, coupled with guitar failure, prevented any special magick tricks that could have impressed any newcomers to the Slave camp. There is, however, always next time, and the time after that, and the time after that, to get it right, you fuckups.

Post escape from the maze, I was given the distinctive honour of assisting Razormaze with some drum equipment transport, which means I can now lay claim to experience as a worker on a popular band’s roadcrew. Keep a close eye on my exploits as I try to build a career off of this special occasion. In the meantime, I hope Crypter has an unsafe return home, and that they drink themselves into a fiery ditch on the side of the road somewhere on the way back to Worcester. Cheers, you Satan worshipping Metalhead fucks. \m/

Churning Satan’s Butter: Amish Noise

It has been several months since Maryland Deathfest, and since I promised the soulless fiery hued gentleman who comprises one half of Amish Noise’s orchestra of cacophanous calamity a write-up, I’m going to finally buckle down my hat and give it a proper overview, dammit. I’ll consider this a birthday present to myself, since any other excuse would just mean I actually care. Now, let’s get on with it while I still think it’s a good idea.

This here shall be a mini review of their release, “Only The Devil Wears Buttons”, which really explains why corporate lawyers are the bloodsuckers we know and love. As the About section on facebook proudly declares:

Your genres cannot contain us, your scenes cannot drain us, we thrive on human disgust, please enjoy our musk.”

The description continues on this theme, as you shall see:

We do not fit into your genre’s, we only live to destroy your concept of music and make you pay for having ears.”

What gets me hot and bothered more than anything is genre bending. I’m still unsure what to call it to this day, so we’ll go track-by-track and play it by ear.

“Get Up N’Get” is the soundtrack to taking a motorcycle for a joyride while swilling cheap gin made in a basement. It’s got the speed of Thrash, maniacal vocals, and at some points near the end, a groovy Jazz influenced bass riff that borrows its tempo from Count Basie, pinned underneath a guitar screaming the same riff as though suffering a bad acid trip and fighting its cat until it fades out, not quite knowing how to end. All of this and I can’t exactly pin what sort of Metal this was supposed to be, if any at all.

“Keeper Of Gates” follows a more straightforward sound, melding the rock’n’roll worship of Black Metal supergroup I (featuring members of Immortal and Gorgoroth) with a tiny bit of Melodic Death Metal influence. This is the moment of lucidity on the relsease, if you’re discounting the vocals layered so as to sound like tortured denizens of Hades.

“Monsters!” brings it back to the amount of crazy I was promised, with vocals taking equally from Mike Patton at his least whacked out, King Diamond, and Hank III sans sounding like a mountain goat eating hallucinogenic weeds. This track sounds a bit like the title, a sudden invasion by Godzilla, Mothra, Gamera, and Arsenio Hall.

“Knuckle Kids” opens up immediately with a swingin’ groove that makes you wanna just get up and dance, showcasing a little old school Punk influence but always verging a tiny bit on the Metal side so you don’t forget that you’re supposed to be confused while listening to this. The lyrics are still odd, so that constant is still in play,  and the vocals are still treading the line between vocalizing and “Missed-My-Pill” yelling.

“Night Of The Living Bread” opens up like a Dollar Store version of Ihsahn’s solo project, so the Black Metal influence has crept back in, but only momentarily, soon to be shoulder tackled by a schizophrenic Thrash attack. Once the false Ihsahn regains his breath, he gets back to his feet and busts out a rippin’ solo over a surprisingly calm bass and drums, only to be assaulted once again. Ihsahn gets fed up and kills the naughty Thrasher, but is severely wounded, so drags off into the woods slowly, and dies, leaving only a bassist to mourn.

“Suggestive Apricots” wins best song title of the decade. As you may have guessed, this song is gonna be another trip through the deranged psyches of the beardos who make up this band. This here is a compromise between Nuclear Assault style goof Thrash and more Rock infused Black Metal. It all quiets down to explore power chords and what sound like some strange breathing exercises interlaced with whispers and whimpers. After some melodic noodling, drums back up the vocalist(s) simply chanting (in a shout, mind you) “Suggestive… apricots!” until the bass kicks back in, and then the guitars, with the chant becoming more manic as it goes along, simply exploding under its own fruitiness.

And there you have it, strange descriptions for stranger music. I’m starting to like this job, even if the pay isn’t that great. Steal their music here.

ALBUM REVIEW: STRONG INTENTION

Razorblade Express (PATAC Records)

Give them the Maryland seal of quality while the ink’s still wet, fellas, because that state can do no wrong as far as quality extreme music. From the Deathgrind virtuosos MISERY INDEX, to the indomitable DYING FETUS, and the fast growing Hardcore act COKE BUST, it’s safe to say that STRONG INTENTION will naturally follow suit and be awesome. the only thing I’d change about this release is the cover art, but that’s a rant I’ll save for someone more judgmental than I. SI have been around since the mid-nineties, but mysteriously haven’t gotten as big as their  aforementioned contemporaries. Something went highly amiss, as their mixture of CHARLES BRONSON/SPAZZ style Powerviolence with the new-school Thrash sound that’d find a home on the latest TOXIC HOLOCAUST joint, alongside a hearty dose of Southern fried Sludge should have hooked this godless country by the nose.

This EP immediately opens up with its title track, a Sludgy number with Mike Williams of EYEHATEGOD infamy performing the bulk of the vocals. It dips in and out of a Thrashcore inflected MAGRUDERGRIND vibe, which is honestly something I didn’t think that Mike Williams would ever sign up for, being accustomed to muggy, heroin induced grooves that can only be properly born south of Virginia. Mike’s on top form as far as sounding angry and acrawl with various diseases, so this change of speed actually suits him, and I’d like to see him (and any other willing Southern Metal vocalists) try it more often.

“Messiah Whore” begins immediately with the musical equivalent of artillery rounds entering your home while you sleep. Here they also showcase a bit of Death Metal influence as well as their dirty brand of what I’ll dub Grindviolence, with punishing blasts and sporting a riff that sounds not unlike some I’ve heard on EXHUMED’s Anatomy Is The Destiny. The breakdown is highly reminiscent of some I’ve heard by MISERY INDEX, which is not odd, as bands in that area seem to swap sounds as bored teenagers sexually transmitted infections.  A solid track overall, and probably one of the standouts.

“Holes In The Wall” boasts a more straightforward Crossover style; think of the vocalist of BANE if he jammed with the band members of PUNCH and MUNICIPAL WASTE. The riffs that kick in at the very end are probably the most melodic thing to happen on the album, as they point towards SI’s ability to lock into killer grooves.  I was a bit sad to see this track end so abruptly, as it promised a bit more variation from a mental nailbombing, but instead leads to the next track.

Mike Williams appears also on “3rd Space Gorilla Generator”, which is a title that shall give me nightmares for years to come. Pure DADA. This one’s a bit more by the numbers Hardcore, with the vocals being more like Jay Randall of AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED. Aside from a small Sludge section where Mike steps up to the mic to howl in pain, it’s pure circle-pit mayhem.

“Rat Factory” continues the vocal tradition of the last track, which gives me the impression that either the vocalist’s larynx morphed over the course of the EP, or someone else stepped in due to an unfortunate neck-related incident. Curious indeed. This track is the second shortest, but packs a helluva punch, with a breakdown at the end that could knock down buildings.

“Slaughter Intelligence” is quite similar to the last track, but ends much more abruptly at only 54 seconds as opposed to “Rat Factory”s even minute. It makes me almost go against my very instincts, which aren’t a fan of the slow, 3-4 minute down-tempo tracks that Hardcore influenced bands usually toss in, often at the end of their releases, but this band actually made me hunger for one. Yes, EPs are short, but this was almost demo length, and was the equivalent of being given a handy when you expected whole night in Paris. That was gross, and I sincerely apologize.

The Verdict: It becomes more of a teaser than an actual appetizer for an album, but overall it’s still a sweet treat from the balmy climes of Maryland.

GRADE: A-

Lost Boyscore: Death By Stereo at The Great Scott

It’s not every day I see a band I’ve known about for over 6 years. It’s also not every day that I study up on said band 3 days prior to the show, since that coincides with my discovery of the aforementioned show. A series of coincidences later, here I was listening to three albums by said band to try to at least know what more to expect, having only heard one song by said band for the previously mentioned period of 6 years. If I can make that any clearer, I’m God.

For this here tour, which is apparently the first time they’ve been in Boston in over 3 years, Death By Stereo has been genial enough to drag along the Mathcore supergroup-ish outing RETOX from their region of SoCal. These miserable fucks are headed by Justin Pearson of faslegrind warriors The Locust and Some Girls, the soundtrack to your plane crash. Opening this here festival of rock-against-establishment was local -Core crew Jack Burton Vs. David Lo Pan, which I can’t even say fast in my mind without tripping a bit.

JBvDLP did little wrong in their performance, and as I am quite new to them I can find nothing to critique about how they play without sounding like a right jerk, but something seemed a bit off and I found myself almost wishing they’d be done faster than they ended up being. They wrote songs in a somewhat predictable fahsion, with some dissonance, oddly timed breakdowns that consisted of more than one chord, 2-step parts, etc., but the build of their tunes was a tad bit lanky and dare I say, not muscular enough to hold its own in a live setting. On record they sound fabulous, but on record I’m not waiting for bands I’m actually excited to see.

Up next were RETOX, whose sole existence is to fuck eardrums in a fashion achievable by the most thuggish of decibel use.

Short songs, and even shorter tempers make the bulk of this band’s aesthetic. With their vitriolic mixture of Powerviolence, Grind, Mathcore, and a measure of sardonic wit through good humour and malicious intent, they’re not a band for normal people. But of course, if your band is fronted by the same guy in The Locust, expect it to sound like your Converge wrestling with Trap Them in a washing machine, all refereed by The Dillinger Escape Plan circa Calculating Infinity. Oh yes, it’s a headfuck, but they keep it organized enough that it’s oddly catchy.

RETOX are clearly not interested in writing mosh music, with the crowd more content with watching Justin’s lithe, almost wispy form contort, slither, and find odd ways to force air out of his lungs than causing one another injury. RETOX is a big fan of feedback, as is evident in the above video, and made sure that it sounded like a chainsaw committing seppukku rather than a computer undergoing cellular mitosis. Needless to say, it was damned loud, if the dithyrambic clatter of four men shapeshifting between angular Hardcore to borderline noise is your game, please investigate, and mind your ears.

Death By Stereo, as I mentioned before, is a band I’ve known of for a long time, but never felt an urge to investigate. I made a huge mistake there, and as a result was not ready for a band that actually seems to enjoy every second of playing live.

Now, allow me to preface the actual review of their set (which was awesome, by the way) with Efram and co’s drunken antics. Mainly Efram, but there was scandal on the hands of the other members as well.

• Efram claims that Van Halen stole “Panama” from a song that they wrote called “Boston”, which is only about 15 seconds long. If you ever needed an excuse to hate David Lee Roth, that’s it right there.

• Efram is secretly defending America from the horrors of “Post-Piano Screamo”, which was birthed in Germany by the unholy We Butter The Bread With Butter. The band’s holy water for this most egregious offence to music was a liberal dose of Slayer’s “Raining Blood”. Cross my heart and hope to die when I say it seems his crusade is waged in vain, as the unspeakable Sisyphean curse of Synthcore has already made its way to our shores in the form of Attack Attack!, Abandon All Ships, and Design The Skyline.

• The entire band except for a single guitarist and drummer Mike got off the stage to order drinks while still playing, at which point Efram stood on a stool with a full shot glass while he sang the rest of the song.

            ›› On that note, Efram and bassist Robbo repeatedly got off stage , the former of which grabbed and buddied around with people, regardless of how much they actually seemed to be enjoying the show, the later bumping into everyone within a two-yard radius of the stage.

• Efram grabbed a broomstick in one of these trips off stage and broke the head off on an overhead beam, at which point he tossed the lonely stick down in the middle of the crowd.

• Efram offered oral sex to the first man to buy him a beer.

• Efram frequently two-stepped and windmilled with a velocity that could remove the trunk from an elephant, often dangerously close to other human beings. Luckily no one was injured.

• Efram said Henry Rollins was Black Flag’s worst singer, and admitted that since they both live in California, he could easily be murdered by the giant himself.

It goes on and on. Wikipedia didn’t lie when they said DBS’s live shows are energetic, oh no they did not. With a small group of people out of the approximately 30 or so that were actually in the venue who sung their hearts out and hopped excitedly as the band belted out their paeans to liberation, it became obvious that they are one of the last standing great Metalcore bands. And I mean Metalcore as in a true fusion of Hardcore Punk and legitimate melodic Metal riffing inspired by Sweden’s legion of Melodic Death and Iron Maiden alike. They were one of the bands that actually spawned a lot of the common tropes associated with Metalcore, but it seems everyone’s forgotten who they should thank. If their reawakening in the form of this tour proves anything, it’s that Metalcore isn’t always a misnomer.

What I lacked in knowledge of lyrics, I made up for in appreciation for being able to see a band that I’d always thought had a pretty cool name, as well as having one of the angriest songs I’d heard for a while, entitled “You Mess With One Bean, You Get The Whole Burrito”. Always made me hungry, that title. Death By Stereo are one of those forgotten legends that inspired countless bands but are lucky to get even cursory mentions and play in front of a small audience in a neighborhood whose venues smell like spilt beer on a good night. Good music sometimes just doesn’t hit it big. Actually, scratch that, it almost never makes it big. That’s why Green Day plays in Gillette Stadium and most of the Powerviolence bands from the 90s are defunct.

If you get a chance, even if you don’t know them well, go out and see this band. They’re quite friendly, and care more that you enjoy that show than if you know all their songs word-for-word.That’s the positive thinkin’ that got me a picture with Efram and Dan “The Man With The Handlebar Mustache That Is Straight From An Era When Strongmen Were A Thing” Palmer!

I have also been awarded the distinct honor of having the best shirt of the night, so fucken ace night overall. I just wish I weren’t the only person under 21 there.