Some days you just need some more fucking grind in your life. Last night I headed out to Philly’s intimate Kung Fu Necktie to catch Fantasy Panther who was opening for sludge legends metal Jucifer and playing with Philly’s own Callous (I completely missed HIRS who I’ve heard good things about.)
Callous plays incredibly sludgy powerviolence, and while I’m not usually a huge fan of sludge metal, Callous switches it up enough from the slow droning notes to blast-beat riffs to keep my attention. I’ve seen Callous before 2 years ago open for Coke Bust in some random Philly basement and I remember digging them then, and this time was no different. The band played a raging set and sounded pretty tight, and honestly I think their live show blows their recorded stuff out of the water. Check them out if you get a chance.
Forming from the ashes of An Albatross, Philly’s Fantasy Panther was only playing their 2nd show (and Philly debut) and already have a sizable fan base. This three piece (vocals, drums, and guitar… fuck bass forever) plays incredibly spastic, grindy, hardcore punk that is perfect for us with A.D.D. Reminding me a bit of a mix between Some Girls and Phobia, Fantasy Panther was melting faces with their aggressive as fuck music.
Sort of like his vocal range, frontman Eddie was all over the place jumping into the crowd, climbing everywhere, and even crawling into the bass drum during a few songs… all while shrieking, screaming and growling the night away. Drummer Steve was nothing short of a maniac on the skins and Dan completely shredded the guitar.
There was a bit of a juxipositon in the crowd of people who were fans of the music and wanted to completely rage (including myself) and people who were out just supporting the band even if they aren’t into it usually (which I give props and respect to), and nobody really wanted to be “that guy” who takes out a bunch of girls in the center not used to punk shows. But once the band closed with their spastic take on Fear’s “Let’s Start A War” all bets were fucking off and the pent up energy just exploded into a massive pit (definitely including yours truly). Drinks flying, people falling, and a slip and slide everywhere, this was what the band deserved throughout the entire set. Definitely need to catch them next time they play, and if you know what’s good for you, you will too.
I’m going to be straight up and honest: I do not like sludge or doom… the whole “let’s sustain one note for 2 minutes” just doesn’t exactly mesh well with my attention deficit disorder (which is why I love punk to begin with), but when you’re dubbed as the loudest band in America, and have one of the most interesting histories… you better believe I’m going to stick around for most of the set.
First off, Jucifer has been around for 20 years now, and the married couple LIVE out of their van with all of their amps just touring all the time… essentially they do what many punk and crust bands CLAIM they do. Secondly, the band had their amps stacked to the entirety of the wall behind them, and that was only 1/3 of their actual amps. They fill the club with as many as possible, and just don’t use the rest. Thirdly, I go to a LOT of shows (or used to at least), and over the years I don’t get the tinnitus after shows because I’ve already done the damage, not this time. I honest to god do not know how these guys aren’t completely deaf, on account they stand right in front of the gear.
Jucifer played a long sludgy set which sounded much different than the clashing clean female vocals with the drudging music behind them. No, live it was much more raw and dissonant. People in the crowd seemed to be really digging them (although there was no real dancing, just more of an aural experience).
Personally, I’m not a fan of the music… the long chords are too slow for my personal liking (although the few fast parts far between are tight as hell) and I just get bored after listening for too long, but that does not mean I don’t respect what they do.
Jucifer may not appeal to my personal tastes but between the lights, wall of sound, and sheer dedication this band has it could be worth your while to check them out live, just for the mere experience. If you dig sludge, then it’s a goddamn must.
More Music To Grind Your Skull To:
An Albatross – We Are The Lazer Viking
An Albatross – Eat Lightning Shit Thunder
Phobia – Cruel
Some Girls – The DNA Will Have It’s Say
Graf Orlock – Destination: Time Today