Third Time’s The Charm: Maryland Deathfest, Thursday and Friday

It finally happened. I had a good, no, GREAT time at Maryland Deathfest. Would’ve been better if I could have seen Garm’s unibrow rustling in concentration, but still, fun. Absolutely free of poorly thought out drinking binges, interpersonal drama, God, and other messy things that prevent you from living like a human, I’m glad to report a success story where I not only saw most of the bands I cared to see, but also was fuckin’ FIERCE in , goddamn. Lookin’ and feelin’ good are only two parts to the complex and variable happening that is America’s biggest metal/hardcore party of the year, but it’s easy to forget that when you’re crying and/or puking, and I’m glad to say I only did the latter once, and it was a party puke making room for more party as opposed to an “I hate myself and will try not to do this again” puke. Awesome. Now let’s talk about some shit.

Thursday

There’s not much to say bandwise about Thursday, because fuck New York traffic. Slapshot got it right, they shouldn’t apologise for that shit. Just take a look at this monstrous eyesore I got treated to at the Port Authority station.

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A motherfucking Cake Boss Café. Reaffirms misanthropy like little else. The icing on this cake of fuck is the presence of televisions airing the damn show to the lobotomised patrons. And don’t get me wrong: my brief sojourn to Times Square allowed me to bear witness to a lot of other unspeakable horrors including a strip club/body sushi bar/steak joint (unholy!) but it pains me to even think of the massive overcrowding and overstylised tomfoolery that is that den of iniquity. It takes 30 minutes to get out of that gods accursed necropolis, even with clear traffic, so avoid at all costs all the time. Now that I’m done bitching about long bus rides (and it was long), I’d like to take a moment to give a HUGE shoutout to a certain Peter Willis for setting me up with a couch to crash on the entire MDF weekend, via couchsurfing.org. Highly recommended if you can’t afford a hotel or just don’t want to deal with one anyway. This guy saved my life, and unfortunately I didn’t think to get a picture with him, but here’s his dresser clandestinely snapped pre-cleanup because he’s a party animal.

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To Baltimore natives, Modelo and Natty Boh are water, and Strong Bow Cider is their apple juice.

So without further ado (and I’m not even sure about the ado), I made my sweet little way to the Ram’s Head, and I must say it’s a tad fancier than I would have thought, being called Ram’s Head. I had in mind a bar shitty enough to be Deathfest material, but that was only the bowels. The outside has a fancy ass fountain with lights that make it look like Vegas or someshit. Too cool, dude. And it’s near the most brutal Holocaust memorial you’ll ever see.

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Isn’t that fucking metal? And not just because it’s cast in iron or whatever, but because it’s a bunch of bodies burning, twisting, writhing, and melting in spiritless agony. Forever. Fuckin’ rad. Boston’s glass tubes full of steam can’t compare.

Appropriately in the mood for Coffins after some rituals near this most blesséd monument to misery, I stepped face-first into the sludge.

The embodiment of dark, slow and heavy, and a direct genetic predecessor to Winter’s death/doom monstrosity, Japan’s Coffins is a contender for one of the most disgustingly oppressive metal bands out there. And they’re actually good at what they do, too. The distortion serves not as a cover-up for being shitty musicians (they aren’t), but creates that foreboding grave-like atmosphere we sick fucks need to feel alive. Now one member heavier after moving Ryo from drums to frontman and getting a new stickman during the making of their punishing new album The Fleshland, they brought out plenty of hits from the hellish Buried Death, my personal favourite (though suspiciously missing “Cadaver Blood”, why?). You’d be amazed at how fast a crowd can get moving even though the music runs like a tank draped in human bodies. Easily one of the more brutal pits of the weekend. Nearly lost my shit —as in my possessions, as you know I went ham— but it was totally worth it. “See you tomorrow”, Bungo or Ryo quipped as they signed off, with a smile.

Following with another hard C to the jaw, Nawlins’ own Crowbar came up to the plate and delivered sorrowful Southern sermons to our congregation of freaks.

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There they were chugging along dutifully onstage, I’m looking at guitarist Matthew Brunson as the blues flowed freely, and suddenly there’s a scrawny-looking guy feeling the fury of Kirk Windstein’s foot to his face. Now everyone’s mind is in “what the fuck?” mode for a moment, and conflicting accounts of the “what” rose faster than weeds outside a shitty project building. Apparently a fan got onstage, got tackled by security into Kirk, which then prompted Kirk’s “what the fuck” mode, and subsequently a violent reaction that was probably not needed, in light of the whole Randy Blythe kerfuffle. Despite this hiccup, however, they finished their set like gentlemen, and all was well. No clue what happened with the guy that undoubtedly still has a shoeprint in his forehead, but I hope that wasn’t the highlight of his weekend. I mean, aside from that, the set went well. I made a man of myself by throwing the shit down during “Cemetery Angels” in a goddamn blue miniskirt. Get on that level, chumps.

Switzerland’s Triptykon was supposed to headline, but due to the sudden and tragic death of band friend and artist, H.R. Giger, and the subsequent scheduling of his funeral, they couldn’t make it, though the MDF XII shirts tell a different story.

Friday

Good Friday indeed! Oh the wonderful tales I could tell you about successfully defeating homophobia by simply walking away from loudmouthed dumbasses, or I could just review bands, which is a better idea, actually.

So, this is the second time I’ve seen New York’s Castevet here at Deathfest, and like their hometown, I’m not sure why it’s considered such a hot item, even though it has elements that I like. I enjoy their post-hardcore tendencies more than their Black Metal ones. Weird, ain’t it? I would have stuck around to hear more of Mgla (who are doing far more interesting Black Metal, straight as a shot of Beefeater), but I wanted to A) familiarise myself with the walk to and from the Baltimore Soundstage, because I would end up going back and forth. A lot. Like, more than a kid at a Gorilla Biscuits show, or someshit. Why do they do this to us instead of using the perfectly good former Sonar Compound for a shitshow, the only attraction being that beers were $3 rather than $6? Fuck logic.

Anyhow, yes, Creative Waste from Saudi Arabia, pretty decent. They’ve got the novelty factor of being one of the only known Grind bands from that country for obvious reasons, though they could stand to be more creative in the years to come. They’ve got potential, however, and it’s sweet they could make it out to the US and do stuff. After a bit of getting wasted, I walked back to check out Ruins Of Beverast, and I honestly found their brand of Teutonic Black Metal a tad dull. I swear one of their songs was repeating the same section over and over and over and over until I finally realised it, and then, as if to fuck with me, suddenly it changed. Is this what it’s like having a bad trip just to snap back into reality and find your loved ones dead? No? Completely off-base? I mean, I like atmosphere and all, but I didn’t come to Baltimore to be lulled to eternal slumber. That’s what got me in trouble the last two years.

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This picture with Fizzle D-Dizzle happened at some point around that time, because Ruins of Beverast is the soundtrack to a selfie break.

Following that was Necros Christos, and I must say, golf claps to having the most evil sounding bands play in the bright Baltimore sun. The irony was lost on nobody, I hope. They were decent enough, I remember, but nothing truly stuck out. Yep, the drought of interest was alive, but luckily Lake ACxDC was nearby to quench my thirst for some hard-hitting PV. Since it was still early in the day and not everyone had warmed up, you can guess that the pit was live, but not entirely lit up. Their caustic mix of standard Powerviolence and wacky fun-loving Grindcore makes for some good Christkillin’ tunes, indeed.

A second helping of Coffins was on the menu, and boy was I hungry for more topsoil.

Legit, Coffins could have played all four days and I’d have no problem with that at all. This time around they played more of their “fast” songs, meaning those with more mid-paced tempos, and even “No Saviour”, featuring some blastbeats, which, in my Coffins listening experience, is quite a rare treat. This, however, only proves that the band is not a one-trick pony, and is capable of devastation at several different speeds. Efficiency is terrifying; just ask the Nazis. Not a band to repeat themselves too much, the only returning tracks were “Evil Infection” and “Altars In Gore”, the latter of which made the dance floor shine. With sweat. And beer.

Turning 30 just last year, Norway’s Taake has never been in the U.S., because playing shows in America is not Black Metal, or something. Hoest even decided to wear a robe rather than go balls-out, which would make more sense, given that the weather’s pretty nice around those parts at this time.


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Controversy about telling someone to “go suck a Muslim” —something Creative Waste would probably not appreciate— and all other bullshit that has lead to people falsely pinning the NS tag on them, Taake is probably one of those bands that you hear about more than actually hear. Having exposed myself to some of their music, I can say with certainty that it is good Norwegian Black Metal, and controversy be damned; those riffs are ice fuckin’ cold, son. I’m not terribly familiar with much of their music aside from the hilariously awesome banjo solo on “Myr” from Noregs Vaapen, but I hope this means that they can come back sometime without me having to pay hundreds of dollars. Also, I saw this dead bird on the sidewalk, and someone had removed it by the time I went back out of the Lot.

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They didn’t take the dog shit, though. Guess that would’ve been gross.

Having to dash in the midst of the fog to catch the almighty Capitalist Casualties was a painful, but necessary decision for me to make. If I even missed a minute of their set, I probably would have missed two or three songs, and that is, I assure you, not entirely an exaggeration.


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Think the singer and bassist don’t look PV enough? Here’s their guitarist:

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Now THAT right there is the face of fastcore.

Blistering, impossible hailstorms of insane start-stop tempos, rapid-fire vocals and scathing guitars that straddle the line between an all-out Thrash attack and condensed hardcore ferocity, and I suppose you’ve noticed that I’m fanboying so hard I can’t even stop using ad-words. I’ll be up front and say Capitalist Casualties was one of the main draws for me this year, alongside Coffins. With a 40 minute timeslot, I estimated that they’d play at least 10 songs that I knew. I overshot it by three or four songs, but still, good enough. The fact that they played “Selfish Parochialism” nullified the fact that they didn’t play “Violence Junkie”, or more from their split with Man Is The Bastard, but I seriously can’t even bitch, because when else am I gonna see Capitalist Casualties on the Beast Coast? Geekin’.

The madness was far from over, as Italy’s grind virtuosos Cripple Bastards were up next to ruin any semblance of a face remaining from the previous assault.

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Ranging in styles from faithful three-chords-and-the-truth punk rock to blasting grind, to fret-melting death metal, Cripple Bastards are certainly not short-sighted in their brutality. I’d know what they talked about if I spoke Italian, but I get the feeling that it falls in line with socio-political vitriol, as grind is wont to do. From Assück to Discordance Axis to early Extreme Noise Terror, grind has many flavours, and Cripple Bastards brings a whole plate of goodness to the genre. Just thinking of Italy makes me hungry because I’m fat. Speaking of fat, I got a free Yeungling from some guy.

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Best 6 bucks never spent.

After my lower back was adequately punished by Punx Aerobics 101, I took yet another long walk (and it got longer every time) back to Edison to catch At The Gates, no big deal.

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Alright, so I lied, pretty big deal. At The Gates is only one of the most legendary Melodic Death Metal bands that actually still plays Melodic Death Metal. Who does that shit anymore? Not In Flames, I can tell you that much, even though I love them to death. But yeah, to see the fucking pit surge during “Terminal Spirit Disease” is like a breath of fresh air for MeloDeath. Some dude even got into the circlepit with a camera in hand, and somehow it didn’t get broken. What a man. He’ll put a baby in me one day. The most pleasant surprise of the set: they actually played “The Beautiful Wound”. Holy shit; I thought I was the only person that cared about that song for some odd reason. Killer doesn’t begin to describe it. With fear, I kiss the burning AWESOME.

Following that with the atmospheric as hell black/death/doom two-piece meal Bölzer made for an odd contrast, but it was pretty chill, despite being given the distinct feeling that I had been launched into empty space.

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Not much I can say about these guys, unfortunately, but they’re good, so check ‘em, if you want. I saw this guy’s jacket, too.

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California’s most likely to be sued for medical malpractice, Impaled, however, was what my ears had their hearts set on at that hour. I intended to catch some of Enthroned, but they took too damn long to set up, and ironically enough, Impaled also were taking ages to set up, and thus started ten or fifteen minutes late. But fuck it, it’s Impaled playing The Dead Shall Dead Remain, in full, with dudes dressed as doctors, Hæmorrhage style, crowdsurfing/moshing in ‘blood’-spattered lab coats and surgeon masks. To add fuel to the spiritual bonfire of Bacchanal celebration, the infamous MDF Party Brigade struck suddenly with a bunch of glowsticks, inflatables, and other goodies, as you can sorta see here.

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One second, it’s just Impaled playing, the next, it looks like someone turned on a garden hose that shoots little plastic things you should never, ever, ever, eat.

I drank with the doctor you see in this picture, he’s pretty chill. I already forgot his name, though, because whiskey. And this little cute alien dude, even though this picture is from Saturday.

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All hail Dollar Tree, for it is America, and America is good.

Then I went and caught some Incantation, and I must say they’re not quite as slow as I expected, since I believe some of their members had been in Disma, and lemme tell ya, that band’s pretty slow. I kinda liked it, but would have preferred if vocalist John McEntee (also known for his work in Mortician and live stints in Immolation) didn’t insist on trying to sound “evil” even though song titles like “Emaciated Holy Figure” do that well enough. Sounded like a damn cartoon goblin. How brutal. Not shittalking, it was just ridiculous, being referred to as “sick fucks” two or three times in a 10 minute span. Good night.

 

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Rudiments Of Matriculation: Full Of Hell @ MIT Senior House

I can still hear, and that’s actually almost disappointing.

Opening this barrage of noise were Symptom(Ex-Host, Who Killed Spikey Jacket?, and not to be confused with a Death Doom band of the same name) , who play a Japanese style blend of raw d-beat and crust that takes you back to the mid-80s, when production just wasn’t something people did. Rumbling, barely audible bass, buzzsaw guitars that crackle like a hate-filled broadcast of impending nuclear warfare, and vocals? What vocals? You’re drowning anyway, and you can yell all you like, nobody will save you from the distortion. With a cover of “Pressing On” by the almighty Gauze, you’d think anyone with a single stud on their jacket would go absolutely ham, but ironically that’s when everyone decided to settle in for mosh bedtime and simply fistpumped/sang along to show approval. Sad day. For fans of Gauze (obv.), Gloom, Zyanose, Confuse, and other things that make your brain hurt.

Now here comes the complicated part: I’m sure that at least 5 or 6 bands played, but the flier you see here is inaccurate, as Raindance played nearer to the end of the night, and some other shit got moved around, fuck research. I think another d-beat band played aside from Cleansing Wave, but I don’t remember, so fuck it, I’ll write about Cleansing Wave, ya fucks.

I get the impression that Worcester’s Cleansing Wave were the favourite of the night, and I sure don’t blame the crowd for reacting so well to them despite some vocal troubles. The vocals follow a more reverb-y approach like Mörpheme or Dishammer (minus the black metal), but unfortunately we didn’t get to hear much of that. Instead we had to focus on the thrash-inflected hardcore fury provided by the rest of the band, which is a good enough consolation prize. For people that like Suburban Showdown, Misery, and you may not have heard of them, but there’s this obscure band called Discharge that may have been an influence.

Having missed Raindance due to not knowing when the fuck they were going on, I’m still not too torn up about it because I guess nobody but me likes them, and I’d just have to be the one-man mosh, which is just not nice. Downright disgraceful, don’t punch people. However, by all means do punch people to Toronto’s Column Of Heaven, who must mistakenly get invited to play a lot of church socials.

 

Boston is officially outrageous, or so says their vocalist King. Featuring former members of The Endless Blockade, it’s no surprise that they play grind/powerviolence with some death metal influence, and the result is a sonic stew pleases the ear. Or assaults the ear? We can’t ever know what terms to use when we listen to noise like this. It’s not the most unique style, but it’s at least weird enough to make you curious. If the subliminal, calculated terror of Iron Lung and Gulf Coast Grind nerds Hatred Surge/Insect Warfare were in collaboration, it’d probably sound like this.

Nyodene D sounded like a bunch of weird experimental/noise shit happening, but I wouldn’t even know because I was jus’ chillen on the couches in the lounge (they’re comfy) until Full Of Hell gave us all the auditory C-4 we came for.

Infamous for their uncanny ability to play so loud that they actually manage to overload their speakers and (I think?) blow out the electricity in an entire building, Philly/Maryland’s Full Of Hell are not known for taking it lightly when it comes to their music, despite their benign appearance. Their style encapsulates all levels of extreme: impossibly heavy sludge breakdowns, raging grindcore/powerviolence fast enough to make the Concorde 2 feel great shame, and power electronics/harsh noise influence that, instead of annoying us until guitars and drums are the tool required, acts as a palette cleanser until they start rocking out again.

Now, I mentioned that I can still hear, and that’s bullshit, because I came there expecting to get my ears royally screwed, but college campuses probably can only allow Full Of Heck, not to be confused with Full Of Hell, who would probably leave the building a mess if they had their way.  That being said, I still enjoyed their set, as it included “Bone Coral And Brine”, which is a standout track on their devastating LP Rudiments Of Mutilation, perhaps because it best wraps up all the components of their sound in a neato 2-minute package that is both fascinating and frightening.

It’s like the old saying goes, “Beware of the quiet ones”. It could have been at least 5x more intense, but all things considered, maybe it’s good that they spared us. Deus ex machina.

When Bad Pigs Do Worse Things. Animals Killing People @ The Dragon Cat’s Den

Yep. I’m not reviewing like 6-10 punk shows, fuck you; I barely remember the finer points of most of them amid the whirligig coagulating sensations cascading into my cortices on a weekly basis; d-beats, blasts, breakdowns, skank parts, beer, and surfing constellations, all meld together in one big lump of “why the fuck would I review all of these shows”, because there are only so many ways to say “This show was cool and punks moshed in a tiny space for 10 minutes and I liked it”. I’m not sorry for anything. Here’s a list of the bands I remember seeing, and the first word or phase that comes to mind because this is journalism.

Suffer On Acid (jazz), Draize (what?), Nuclear Special Forces (special alright), Pornstars For Romney (American hustlaz), Triple Thick (really?), Decrepit Existence (suck it, Jew), White Pages (speed), Jake & The Infernal Machine (needs oil), Funeral Cone (traffic hearse), Spitting Earth (hot), Ancient Filth (nasty), The Little Richards (not the Ramones), Eel (nice firecrackers!), Animal Mother (röööäär grrrl), No Tomorrow (AAAARRRGH!!), Flaccid (huehue), White Line Fever (drugs?), Cleansing Wave (filth), No Sir I Won’t (rebelz), Discipline (queercore babes), Crusty Craig (not really a show but fuck it), Disciples Of Christ (hmm), and Human Bodies (I may be playing with them soon)

Good job, humans. Keep rotting in the slave new world, and not necessarily in that order.

So, now that that’s all out of the way, let’s talk about Metal for a change. It’s been a long time since we’ve done that, hasn’t it?

Ah, I missed DIY metal shows. Kinda like DIY punk shows, but with less studs and 40s, and I guess more hornéd finger gestures. It had been a long ass while since the last I was at this cozy xth floor spot. So long, in fact, I nearly went a floor too high up, that’s how long. But I will make no complaints nor cracks of the climb, because I already did enough of that last time. I’m not a man to recycle humour. Often. I only do that when a particular joke is really good, which sometimes they are, but even then I just feel dirty inside. But enough of this palaver; let’s get this show on the road.

So, to confirm my suspicions, Coffin Birth has changed. A lot. I remember checking out their album The Miracle Of Death some years back, and it was more of a melodic black thrash workout that wasn’t entirely as professionally put together as major acts like Skeletonwitch, but then not on that savagely brutal level like Witchaven —though they’re still witches, make no mistake—, and not really in the middle either, so I dunno, go listen to it and form your own opinion, why don’t you? It’s good stuff. I haven’t heard any other studio outings by them since, but they seem to have taken a turn for the entirely different. I wasn’t sure if I simply misheard them last at the Monster Shop (R.I.P.[?]), but they have become a death metal band. I don’t bring you this news with despair, it’s just a fact. They sound good, albeit a little generic, so in my heart I yearn for “Arise From Damnation”, can’t they see? Maybe not, because I’m shy and haven’t sent them a passionate letter about it.

Forced Asphyxiation came next to sandblast our faces or something with their death/grind mix, and it was more enjoyable than I would have assumed. Forgive me for saying, but many metal bands in the local scene are dryer than the pieces of chicken in the KFC bucket that most people save for last. I don’t know what they’re called, and they’re not (usually) gross, but they’re not preferred snacking material. I’m glad to report that Forced Asphyxiation is not this, so I’ll probably actually go see them sometime if they happen to be playing a show I know won’t actively bore me or something. Here’s to you them being a good band. I’ll just drink to it later.

Boy am I glad I brought my guitar to this show for no reason. This is a random segue to pad out the post, by the way, because I decided it appropriate to delay the bad news. You’ll see why soon if you’re unfamiliar with what happened that fateful Dragon Caturday evening. In between bands’ sets, I filled the time by making idle discussion with people as foolish as I am (who else would go to an illegal BYOB metal show in a run-down part of Boston?) and assumed the role of the night’s bard, because that’s what beer does. Makes you want to recite poetry and all other manner of thespian shit. Granted, it was difficult to hear my strumming beyond a 3-foot radius of self-indulgent minstreldom and cigarette smoke, but a true artist doesn’t stop because their efforts are ridiculous.

I was also mistaken for a member of Animals Killing People because I guess being a brown guy with a guitar can do have that effect. Though truth be told, I can see where the basis of his error lay, as a former member of theirs, Eston Browne —now in Humanity Falls, who are rad as fuck—, was about my skin colour, so what can you do? Them’s the breaks. Speaking of breaks, this one’s over.

New York’s Animals Killing People put on a fairly fly set of some brutal death metal inflected grind, complete with croaked vocals that sounded like a dying swamp monster from a Star Wars flick. Original trilogy, mind you, excepting Return Of The Jedi, where almost every non-humanoid above Ewok level sounded just silly. Not quite as hilarious as Japan’s Jenovavirus, not quite as frightening as Spain’s Wormed, but a happy medium of plain fun meets gore and inhumanity á la Brodequin with less phlegm. What a beautiful sound. On par with Corelli’s Christmas Concerto.

To give a visual of their pro-animal/anti-human stance (they are a vegetarian band, dontchaknow), there were some grisly projected videos of macabre happenings. The overlay of a bird pwning the shit out of some guy’s face was interesting enough to warrant attention, but sadly obscured the video, so I’m not sure what was killing what, but the flesh sure was flying this way and that, much like the technical-but-tasteful riffs. They were nice enough to post it online for anyone wanting to see the unveiled barbarity, so enjoy, sick fucks.

And speaking of mixed bags, the mothafuckin’ cops busted up the muthafuckin’ show. Mutha. Fucka.

I must now take a moment to stand —sit, rather, because that more accurately reflects what I do when I type these things— in amazement of the sheer insurmountable odds which resulted in the police presence at this particular event. This show took place on the xth floor. Of a random building in South Boston. Where the only other occupants with any true presence seem to be the liquor store on the first floor.

Who. The fuck. Called the fuzz?

Now, please tell me that someone in Composted isn’t secretly at the behest of the bacon, because apparently they’ve had a string of poor fortune with sudden cases of swine flu, and at this rate it almost certainly won’t be the last. To add insult to injury, Animals Killing People was allowed to finish their set, albeit with slightly less loud guitars, and if they promised to wrap up at 11:00. These conditions requiring some reluctant compliance, we suffered no repercussions other than the sour taste of defeat, for Boston’s slam-silly superheroes were once more foiled. Not to mention a heavy heart for yours truly, who had been expecting to see Composted after so long a divorce from their bestiality tips and totally un-metal costume-wearing, Cosby spouting antics. Next time, maybe. Til then, I’ll deflect sobriety and try to bring you the hottest news from the frontlines of metal warfare. Präz Azathoth.

I guess now’s as good a time as any to insert some absurd tradition to sort of “post-script” these reviews, so I’ll tally how many substances I put in myself to not feel the weight of reality as prominently. Let’s see how long this lasts, because I break all of my promises.

1 40 oz. bottle of Colt 45, 1 morbidly chode-esque can of Foster’s, 1 12 oz can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, a single hit off a doobie, and a lot of cigarettes.

My men in MyManMike

We have reached a truly special moment in my history, where I not only am NOT posting about a show, but am also not bitching about something stupidly for the first time in ages. I’m enjoying this turnaround I’ve made, with minimal effort.

Hailing from South Korea, a country not widely known for its surprisingly large extreme music community,  MyManMike describe their style as Grindcore/Thrashcore/Powerviolence. Despite these tags often meaning “next to unlistenable unless you’re the right type of brain damaged like most punk/hardcore listeners”, it’s got a modern sheen and production that could be likened to bands in the vein of crossover goofs like In Defence; it’s clear, yet maintains enough rawness to fly the DIY flag and thus still be “punk”.

For starters, they’re catchy as fuck. “Inside Outside USA” for instance, after an almost obligatory anti-government sample, kicks into full gear and wastes no time with a beat that would get kids moving side to side almost by spiritual compulsion rather than voluntarily wanting to move. Generally, being an album of this type, a lot of the songs are going to blend together, so it’d be foolish to go about a track-by-track review for a 10 song release of rapid punches to the head, the longest being just under two and 3/4 minutes long.

I can say, however, that MyManMike shows a lot of promise, and it’d be highly recommended for anyone into ACxDC, Birth A.D., Fuck On The Beach, Charles Bronson, and Extortion.  If retarded vocals that alternate between yelped highs and strained lows, occasional chunky breakdowns, mile-a-second blasts, thrash metal-tinged tempos, and generally having fun and not taking yourself too seriously is your bag, maybe you’ll be into it. Which everyone with any sense is, so go on, take a listen. You shouldn’t regret it.

No One’s Punk, Okay? Weekend Nachos at the Democracy Center

For a band whose entire existence is essentially satire, Weekend Nachos sure can pack a house (venue). Woe unto any who did not show up in time, and further deepening woe unto any who were directly behind the persons who bought the remaining few spots inside the space. Ouch.

Those fortunate enough to be part of this maxed out capacity event, however, did thusly rock’n’roll all night, and depending on soreness, survived to party the next day. Suffer On Acid being the openers, it was destined to be a real slambangarino from the start, with a pit being established by the end of the second or third song. It’s not my job to be accurate; fuck off. I ain’t being paid by the fact, here. If I were, then I’d publish constantly, and intelligently.

Moving on, next were Curmudgeon, who I almost expected would just go through the necessary motions of being everyone’s favourite P.C. PV band, and discourage all manner of motion outside of headbanging, fist shaking, shouting along, and at most, an approving stomp to mark your hamster bubble of contained energy. Imagine my surprise when people are suddenly plowing into one another from end to end of the room.  Anything that can happen, will happen at least once somewhere, and I’m in the quantum reality where someone can mosh guilt-free to Curmudgeon.

Partners in preventing crime Draize performed well, playing the dark and angry powerviolence that’s come to be a viable substitute whenever touring acts are short in supply.

I still don’t know any of their songs, so you’ve come to the wrong place for more details. I’ve covered them before, so check those and fill in the blanks. Shoddy Music Journalism (MUSC 666) would be taught by me if I could apply myself enough to get a professorial doctorate.

The DC having not learned their lesson from last year have graciously allowed Spine, half from Kansas City and half from Chicago (read: Weekend Nachos), to come and wreck shit again. If anything, it probably got even more wild than last time, which I may or may not have forgotten to review. Whoops. Moving on; their sound is similar enough to Weekend Nachos to warrant comparison, but their DNA is similar enough to be a different species. So to the outsider, perhaps they’d think they’d heard the same band twice, albeit with a different singer and more two-step sections isntead of blasts. Just check the track “Who Are You?” for a microcosm of all of Spine’s best attributes. They’re also nice dudes. Singer Antonio’s also a nice dude. He told some joke, but I forgot it. It was pretty funny, trust me.

The superheroes of Hardcore, coming to save the day and make posers cry, Weekend Nachos came like a bat outta heck with their punishing brand of sludge/beatdown/Entombed influenced powerviolence, knowing fully well that they’re trendsetters and realising that giving a fuck would make it less fun. Only yelling angrily along and slamming into people to songs written in a tongue-in-cheek manner is real. Otherwise you’re just uptight.

I must hand it to the Democracy Center; despite the oft clique-y and cabalistic politically correct nature that can pervade the atmosphere, they sure know how to book a show, as the similar (though not identical) sound of the bands culminated into one of the best instances of pit brutality in which few were harmed and all had a smashing time. The setlist was kicked off by the massively catchy “Shot In The Head”, and included crowd-pleasers from the new album including “No Idols and No Heroes”, “S.C.AB.” (guest vocalist included), and some other ones that weren’t “You’re Not Punk” so they don’t matter. lol jk it’s a good album overall.

The room surged back and forth, up and down, side-to-side, and even once in a circle during (I think) “Dog Torture”. Other favourites including “Obituary”, “Black Earth”, “Pain Over Acceptance”, and of course, “Jock Powerviolence” made an appearance. The sock puppet also came back briefly at the beginning of the set, but I’m sure it wasn’t hard enough for the pit.

Yours truly gettin’ his freak on

For the rest of the pictures, go here and/or here. They’re too beautiful to ignore. Love your friends, die laughing.

You know what time it is: Reviewvalanche.

Looking at all the shows I’ve been to recently and my inability to review them either to being inebriated, not in the writing spirit, noticing that I fucked up the order big-tiume, or just being inconvenienced from many directions at once in the grand tradition of life, I’ll just leave this here.

Boris @ Brighton Music Hall

Fucking Flood. Damn.

Nomad/Kromosom @ Cambridge Elk’s Lodge

It’s a wonder I somehow avoided injury during this thrashing d-beat noisefuck raid experience. Ye gods. I swear a boot was mere inches from my face, and I also saw a tit.

Coke Bust @ Cambridge Elk’s Lodge

I only saw 10 minutes of Coke Bust, but that was all I needed, because I would have died of exhaustion had I been punctual. A dollar a minute, and eternally late to the point where I missed all the other bands for free Chinese food, sake and beer. No fucking regrets.

Parasitic Extirpation @ O’Brien’s

I’m pretty sure my conduct was unbecoming of my gentlemanly status, but with 64 ounces of Steel Reserve in my system, anything short of getting ripshit was inexcusable for one of Boston’s finest in slamming brutality. Fields Of Elysium from New Mexico were pretty sweet, having made it to Boston for the first time ever, and fialing to disappoint with their PsyOpus meets a more interesting but even more insane Spawn Of Possession.If you’ll excuse me, I have to write some apologetic letters to the people whose souls I ate because I’m a monster.

Nuclear Special Forces (or N.S.F. if you’re lazy and drunk) @ some basement in Allston

I don’t remember a lot of this show because the beer intake was constant, but I remember it was fun. Pornstars For Romney play some form of rippin’ hardcore, and N.S.F. boast some eldritch amalgam of d-beat, crust punk, and powerviolence, with a killer cover of “City Baby Attacked By Rats”, complete with some tasteful blastbeats. I think the opener was Jake And The Infernal Machine, but I can’t be sure. The internet holds no record of this, and I may have imagined that one-man acoustic folk-punkish guy. But then again, acoustic folk-punkish guys own everything from Mission Hill to the outer edges of Lower Allston, so I’m just trying to make this interesting for you.

The Melvins @ Brighton Music Hall

They played a lot of heavy songs, and Buzzo had a get-up reminiscent of some sort of alien from an early sci-fi movie. ‘Twas cool.

Or maybe it was just a robe and I was seeing shit.

Summer Slaughter ’13 @ The Palladium

It was a fantastic show overall. Thy Art Is Murder exceeded my low expectations, Tosin Abasi of Animals As Leaders signed my palm, I had a pleasant post-brutality chat with some members of Cattle Decapitation, and Unearth was surprisingly good live, if not handicapped by the muddy sounding breakdowns. Curse you, Palladium sound. The main hiccups of the evening were Rings Of Saturn just being silly, Periphery playing for about 45 minutes too long (ha!) getting stranded in Worcester due to some last-minute revocations of a possible ride home and experiencing some wicked sleep deprivation that only being utterly rezzy high can emulate, and, speaking of Revocation, their set was mainly steeped in new material, which is still good, but some oldies would have made it a far more satisfying show. Have they all but forgotten Empire of the Obscene? Oh and Greg Puciato semi almost killed himself. Again. Anyone reading this now should know I put this in here weeks after this article was written. Feel free to comment if you’re one of these lucky souls. Ha.

Backslider @ the Democracy Center

This show reminded me just why I sometimes opt out of going to the Democracy Center, even if the line-up shows much promise and potential for window breakage. Case in point, the wimpiest of Boston’s punk scene gathered singly to not destroy one another while Congenital Death and Backslider destroyed the surrounding air with their clatter of fastcore devastation. Fucking Invincible was just Fucking Boring (the merch reads FI. F. Fucking. I.) and Curmudgeon was another roadblock to guilt-free enjoyment. Despite Logan’s (guitar/vocals in Backslider) goading and pointing out the stand still/keep your arms crossed policy that Boston’s PV lovers adopt, there was nary a twitch more than a hearty shaken fist and some aggressive nodding to the beats to show approval. Plus they played way more breakdowns than I remember being in any of their material. Overall, disappointing, but I’m still glad I at least got to see these nerds. They’re skinnier than I thought they’d be, is all I can say on that last sentence.

Ceremony @ Sinclair

I skipped ALL the openers because I hated their names and descriptions, (with the exception of GIVE, who are just boring psychedelic punk with no aim) and I’m sure I did well to that end. Ceremony’s definitely taken an odd turn since the olden days of Ruined and Violence Violence, which were essentially exercises in how many times a band could rip your face off within the span of under 15 minutes. The new album, Zoo, is more of an experiment in how to travel back in time, record an album in the 70s, and make people think that a completely different band wrote the material. Seriously, go listen to even Rohnert Park, which is somewhat more sober in its approach, and then Zoo, and you’ll swear there are two bands called Ceremony. They weren’t kidding when they basically said they were sick of hardcore punk. Luckily they still busted out a few choice jams from the aforementioned albums, (not like the kids didn’t mosh to the non-core material anyway) but overall, the heavy British accent seeping from Ross Farrar’s gob during those tracks is unavoidably a conscious want to put the olden days behind them. Pack your fist full of love, give a gift to the world.

The Impalers/Vaaska @ The Boiler Room

It smelled strongly of fresh spraypaint, and I swear I’ve been slightly dumber since being in there, but it was fun at the very least seeing d-beat bands and spiky brats all crammed into one nearly uncomfortable spot in a middle-of-nowhere Allston parking lot that probably sees more activity by people looking for a place to do drugs and drink than the local businesses that are only open when you’re completely mentally unprepared for them to be.

Suffer On Acid @ Pt-109

I think this place may officially be murdered by the pig-state, but at least I got to act a damn drunken fool during Demoralizer‘s set even though the space is now no larger than a broom-closet as opposed to a living-room like it was before.

Sean Smash would be my scene name if I were a bigger faggot than I already am.

Infest/Los Crudos @ ChiTown Futbol

Going a long way totalling up to or more than $2-300 in travel expenses for a 10 dollar punk show is something that everyone worth knowing should do at least once in their lifetime. Never knowing if Infest or Crudos, bands that are technically ‘broken up’ despite their recent resurgence in activity (always trust Wikipedia) will ever come even as close as New York or Connecticut, I say it was well worth the trip. Gas Rag played some decent d-beat with just enough energy, Violent End was okay but repetitive and sort of like a 2nd rate Nails, and Hard Skin was equally comedic and badass with their limey British skinhead swagger showing through as they simultaneously mocked and celebrated the whole of punk in all its forms. I doubt they successfully converted everyone from Hardcore to Oi! as was their openly stated aim, but everyone had fun. Punx and skins did unite on that dusty street in Chicago while kids played soccer not a room over.

Infest was on par with a religious experience, though if you replace the wide lanes of a megachurch with a surging pit of crowdsurfing, mic-rushing, flailing bodies, and clothing heavier than appropriate for the warm weather, it’s essentially the same thing. The vocals were equal parts hilarious and rousing, the drums missed not a single beat, and the slowing down of their iconic pre-Powerviolence breakdowns only made for more friendly violent fun. Los Crudos got just about the same fervor as kids thrashed about responsibly but wildly, showing that “that Spic band” is nothing to fuck with. Glory be to me, for I have seen both of Martin Sorrendeguy’s bands within a year, and I’m not even old yet.

I’d like to take a rare human moment to say that I really felt at home in Chicago, before, during, and even after the show. So many brown people in one place, girls pitting as hard if not harder, and streets that don’t say “fuck you” like Boston. Was this the only place designed after the listless meanderings of livestock? Living arrangements are in order. Perhaps Cleveland or even good ol’ Chi-Town will be my next resting place once my earthly body in Massachusetts has grown tired of taking the MBTA and dealing with a mayor that’s nowhere near as hilarious as Tom Menino. Also, ChiTown Futbol has legit the best burritos I’ve ever tasted, and they don’t even put rice in them. I’m ruined forever to all the joints here.

And there you have it, a brief summary of the last few months, as lazily put together as I could manage without cheating you, the reader, out of some verbiage and colourful illustrations that you’ve come to neutrally know me for. Here’s to trying harder to try harder once again, because not having normal internet access AND a job makes it hard to say stupid things for the world to see and me to feel ashamed for writing later.

The only reason I haven’t given up on TBMD entirely is probably some odd sense of duty that I feel to people that like to know about random shit. Well, I’m still here for you idiots, so feel free to not react as I languidly struggle to bring you the most up-to-date news about things that have long since passed, you nerds.

Goodnight, Fresh Prince. Ultra//Negative’s swansong show at the Democracy

The death of any great band is a wake-up call to just how precious their time on this sorrowful hole of an Earth was. Doubling as the release anti-party for their split with Ira Graves and the burial of their live outings, it was a mixed bag of sadness, sexual arousal, and pure fucken hate. I’m only glad I got to see them 4 or 5 times, most of them while very un-sober.

Unlikely openers Floods were entertaining, but were the cigar to the audience’s blunt. Meaning that while they were indeed a Hardcore band, they were more along the lines of the modern bands like Xibalba or Harms Way: heavy with breakdowns, sludge metal influence, and a distinctive love of Bolt Thrower and Entombed-style riffage that just makes you want to go to war. Bad fit for the bill (though I’m sure their “Wolverine Blues” cover would have gotten some more enthusiasm), but certainly not a bad band.

Canada’s Spearhead (not to be confused with a metal band of the same name from the UK)  took us out of the swamps and into the fast lane, where they seemed to be playing so fast they had trouble keeping in time. Their energy was highly admirable, however, so they still get a big-up from me. Their countrymen in Total Trash had some speed, but overall it was steeped in 80s tradition a-la Slip It In-era Black Flag, but nowhere near as angsty, just very weird. The frontman seemed to have popped a molly cos he was sweatin’, bumping into just about everyone, getting within licking range of many of our finest warriors, and even put on a little lipstick to pretty himself up for the boys. I was at just the right angle to witness the lattermost embellishment, and it only made me like them even more. Ballzy.

Ultra//Negative‘s collective bandship has been rocked on seas of internal controversy, causing an unstable line-up situation and ultimately the decay of their ability to function as a unit. Holdin’ it down on tha block as the creme-filled centre were Jan and Cody Esq., the last two members who I saw the last two times I saw them. I swear they have usually been a 4 piece, but on this fateful night they came as a power trio, and were wicked pissed. Thrashing out their self-named song as an intro that makes for a real wall-buster, the rest was a blur of blastbeats, low-end infected guitars, and vocals screeched with such anger and conviction it could scare graffiti off the walls. Don’t try it at home unless you want a sore throat. Ashes to ashes, nothing to nothing. I sweated instead of crying, and I believe it was effective. The crowd had noticeably thinned out after Total Trash went off, but I say they’re all wussies.

Last but certainly not least were Tinnitus, who aren’t trying to re-invent the concept of powerviolence as it stands, but by Jove, they’re doing it well. Noisome, indefatigably blasting, ineffably brutal, and with a cover of “Behind This Tongue” by Infest for good measure. Sometimes keeping it simple is good, people.

And uh… that’s all there is to say about that. So yeah.