Ah, the Great Scott, how I thought I missed you. This venue has been the site of many a great show: Toxic Holocaust, Shonen Knife, Ringworm/Nails, and The Red Chord. All massive blasts of great times and home to rousing rounds of avoid-the-beer-spills-so-as-to-not-die-in-a-rather-embarrassing-fashion. It seems that over my times of going to shows there, I can just tell which ones are going to be the type where chubby bearded men stand and drink PBR as opposed to actually showing signs of life. Not necessarily mosh-til-you-drop, but something more than one or two guys who genuinely seem to enjoy the opening bands, y’know? Regardless, there was some great talent to be found here in all forms, as usual, and opening the festivities was the obligatory local band with a strange name, Lunglust.
While Lunglust are certainly a group of good musicians who know a little something about writing songs, their Hardcore meets… something else combo isn’t something that meshes well with my own interests. Some of the songs crawled along too slow, and while others were at a pace more my speed, they still didn’t quite capture my attention for much longer than a few seconds at a time. They have a sizeable following in the Bosotn area, I believe, so I’m probably alone in not nodding along while they perform. So be it.
Following the hometown heroes were KEN Mode, three angry Canadians that play Hardcore that sounds very angry.
KEN Mode’s style of hardcore is one that’s as abrasive as it comes in Canada. If you thought Cursed were a shovel full of soot to the mouth, then KEN Mode are stepping it up to a shovel full of soot on fire to the nuts. It’s no-compromise, it’s sludgy and covered in scars, and it’s mean. KEN Mode weild chugging riffs that seem to come from the bottom of the sea, breakdowns that make your soul hurt, and during one song the guitarist swapped out for a bass, providing even more low-end battery that could make mighty castles crumble. This band’s a take-no-prisoners type, go see them and be wowed. It’s the type of Hardcore that doesn’t even require any pit antics, and pitting would almost take away from just seeing them go about their hateful proselytism.
A Life Once Lost is a band with quite a reputation, and even they would have a hard time topping KEN Mode in their tooth’n’claw approach to Hardcore with their mishmash of psychedelia, slap-chopped prog riffs, and whatever else they feel is appropriate.
Little do fans know, Doug and Bob work in a factory that exclusively produces mannequin torsos.
Though ALOL no longer play what people nowadays refer to as “djent” (the term didn’t exist in the time they were trailblazing), they still bring enough heaviness for the chubbies who frequent this hole in the wall. Beginning their musical trek sounding like Meshuggah meets metalcore, and becoming one of the frequently cited bands of this style, I wasn’t quite ready for the more laid back, ethereal feel that the tunes on “An Ecstatic Trance” offered, with a light-show to accompany the musical goings-on.
Far be it for me to make assumptions, but seeing that they were selling a “Drop Acid, Not Bombs” shirt and now knowing that two members of the band dabble in mild-altering substances, I can guess who, but I ain’t snitching. All I will tell is that some standing on the bass-drum occurred, and the sober mind considers the consequences of such an action.
Moving on, ALOL played a set mainly taken from the new album (I assume), and closed with “Surreal Atrocities” from their seminal release, A Great Artist. Throughout, the band remained focused, andseemed to be enjoying the direction their music has taken, which emphasizes their groovy nature and ditches a lot of the polyrhythmic pummeling, but it still remains in trace amounts. Certainly not a bad direction to take, though some old fans are understandably miffed. I, being a newcomer, see no evil, and will jam An Ecstatic Trance with no remorse.
Last and arguably not least were Revocation, who I’m proud are from here because David Davidson is the mad notes, yo. MetalSucks and hopefully other sites have had him pop up on Best Guitarist list multiple times, so you know that he’s better than Buckethead.
Revocation’s one of those bands that just can’t seem to stop getting better. Since Empire Of The Obscene they’ve just gotten more proficient in their Death/Thrash craft: ever-deepening technicality and melody seamlessly integrated with a heaviness that lets them clear the battlefield of all opposing forces. Their latest EP, Teratogenesis is free, so go steal it guilt… er… free. Though it isn’t wildly different thematically from what they’ve been doing on Chaos of Forms or Existence Is Futile, you can’t argue with a FREE Revocation cd. It’s pretty sweet, and it’s green, go eat it. They sold their souls to Scion to give us, the fans, a little something in return for stealing their albums already and making up for it by buying shirts.
Anyhow, they always boast an energetic and above all, entertaining live show. It’s amazing how much the crowd changed from ALOL to Revocation. Virtually all of the hardcore dudes hightailed it, and longhairs were the kings of the ring. David Davidson being intoxicated and silly is always a great treat to see, and marveling as to how he manages to pull off all those solos while possessing a firm buzz is a favourite pastime of Revocation fans nationwide.
While the band members themselves were in top form musically despite the most queer absence of Anthony Buda (I don’t know the story, someone research it for me), the audience was a whole different kettle of fish. Mr. Davidson, the grand judge, juror, and executioner of the festivities, was eager to see some harebrained knuckle-dragging mosh action, just to see if everyone was alive or an oil painting. While there was indeed movement as per the nice man’s request, it was more like an oil painting running due to a poor mixture of linseed and whatever else oil paint is made of. In short, an uninformed onlooker would think it was a drunken game of football occurring during a Metal show. The sheer clumsiness of the sport closer resembled a 5th grade game of tackletag, it was fucken hilarious to see. Circlepits were a lost cause, since some people don’t really know how to run in a straight circle, opting for hexagons instead. By the honour of Greyskull, it was a sight to see. Mr. Davidson attributes the poor moshing skill to the fact that Converge and Suffocation immediately preceded this show, but I can personally say that none of the attendees of tonight’s show aside from perhaps one were at either, and thus have no reason to be tired. While I was licking my wounds from a knockout, they were probably watching 16 And Pregnant.
Due to the MBTA’s propensity for stranding people in the Autumn and Winter cold after a certain time, I couldn’t stay for the whole of Revocation’s set, though they did play some choice cuts such as “Harlot”, “Re-Animaniacs”, “No Funeral”, “Across Forests And Fjords”, and of course, “Dismantle The Dictator”. Lots of air-shredding and headbanging remained to be seen, but I like to not walk all the way from Allston to Dorchester at 12:30 at night in order to minimize chances of encountering the stab-happy.
How I had missed the dim light and redolence of ages of spilt beer and sweat lingering in the rafters of this old pub. Many a great show I have seen, and many I shall still see. Add this notch to my bedpost, or whatever one does to keep score of shows these days.