Archive for hardcore

Bane, Lifeless, Bottom Feeder Live In Delaware (3/28/14)

bane flyer
This past Friday night, I made the trek from Philadelphia down to Wilmington, Delaware’s Harmony Grange to catch one of my favorite hardcore bands around, Bane.  I’ve never been to the Harmony Grange before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when I walked in, it reminded me a lot of Philadelphia’s First Unitarian Church… a much colder church hall. I got there right in time as Bottom Feeder was setting up, and there was plenty of room.

Bottom Feeder:

It seemed like most people didn’t really know how Bottom Feeder was, myself included.  Regardless, I went right up front the second these dudes started playing their style of hardcore, which reminded me a lot of one of the bands that got me into modern hardcore nearly 13 years ago: The Hope Conspiracy.  These guys completely killed it, and they played a bunch of new songs that were thrashy as all fuck.  Definitely need to check their recorded stuff out, and if they come around, go check them if you’re into hardcore.

Lifeless:

I’m going to be completely honest, I fucking hate beatdown/breakdown/tough guy/whatever the fuck you want to call it hardcore for the most part, minus a very few select bands.  However, they easily had the biggest pit and reaction of the night, with the younger kids completely losing their shit, and props to the band for keep yelling at the crowd “Stay the fuck away from the walls and just punch each other in the face” referring to the select few who think it’s tough to punch unsuspecting people off to the side watching the show.  I’m all about pits, shit I start most… but Jesus Christ hitting a girl in the face who is just trying to watch the band doesn’t make you tough.  It sort of makes you pretty fucking pathetic.  OK, rant over.

Anyways, not my cup of tea, and I actually dug them more than most bands that play a similar style (and I give them respect for putting their music online for free).  If you’re a shirtless dude who likes windmilling and punching the floor, you’ll probably like Lifeless.

Bane:

The reason I fucking came to the show.  I’ve seen Bane plenty of times over the years, and yet they continue to blow my mind every time I see them.  Their show this past December at the Kung Fu Necktie was easily one of my favorite sets of 2013, and it saddens me that they are only going to be a band for another a year or so.  At this point most of the younger kids left, leaving us old heads more than enough room to dance, pile on, and stage dive (or as much as our near 30 arthritic bones could possibly take).

These Boston hardcore legends took the stage, and blasted straight into “Some Came Running” and into “My Therapy”, which caused a frenzy of pile-ons and two stepping (or maybe it was just me, I was sort of in my own world at this point).  They then stated they were going to play a few off their upcoming, and their final album with the caveat “We know it’s hard to sit through music you don’t know, but you don’t know what it’s like to play the same songs over and over the past 9 songs”.  The new songs were actually really tight, and have me stoked for the latest album.

I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but if they come around you, go see them… It’s fucking Bane.

Setlist: (might be missing one)
Some Came Running
My Therapy
New Song
Ali Vs Frazier
In Pieces
What Hold’s Us Down
Superhero
The Young and The Restless
New Song
Swan Song
Speechless
Can We Start Again

MP3:
Bane – Speechless

I’d Rather Be Stage Diving:
Bane – Holding This Moment
American Nightmare – Year One
Chain Of Strength – The One Thing That Still Holds True Today
Dangers – Five O Clock Shadows At The Edge Of The Western World

Official Site:
Bane
Lifeless
Bottom Feeder

Dangers – Five O’Clock Shadows At The Edge Of The Western World (for fans of American Nightmare, Ceremony, Punch)

dangers five o clock

“What if this was the best day of your life?”  Southern California’s hardcore Dangers is back with Five O’Clock Shadows At The Edge Of The Western World, a six song EP that is some of their most introspective work yet.

The EP starts off with the same pissed off aggression we’ve seen from Dangers with opener “The Mourning Routine”, and blasts into a slower instrumental “(Santa Anas)”.  The rest of the album manages to sound different from their earlier work, yet still contains the same anger and fury, but just in a much more focused manner.  The incredibly melodic “Midnight Traffic” is a perfect example of a song that shows how the band evolved while still very clearly being the pissed off Dangers that we know.

Dangers has always stood out from their hardcore peers by their gut-wrenching honest lyrics, and the EP is no different.  Dealing with themes of breaking routine and escape, Al Brown has always had a knack for penning down often difficult to express emotions, quite vividly.

While I don’t think it’s my favorite release by them (I prefer the blasted unfocused fury of their previous stuff), it’s definitely worth picking up if you’re a fan of Dangers.  Easily one of my bands around, do yourself a favor and check out all of their stuff (and their side project Ghostlimb and Graf Orlock as well… also completely sick).

MP3:
Dangers – Midnight Traffic

We Ain’t Stopping. We Ain’t Turning Around.
Dangers Live In Philly
Dangers – Messy, Isn’t It?
Dangers – Anger
Dangers – Demo
Ghostlimb – Infrastructure

Band Site:
Dangers Bandcamp

Ratkicker – Fuck Off Thank You (For fans of Ceremony, Discharge, Every Time I Die)

ratkicker

Not even two seconds in and “Fuck you and your fucking friends” is how Philadelphia’s Ratkicker starts off, giving you an idea of what to expect on their album Fuck Off Thank You.  Aggressive, high energy punk hardcore, Ratkicker is not for the faint of heart.

I first heard these guys when I saw them open for Fantasy Panther at Philly’s Barbary the beginning of the year and after their set I knew I had to check them out.  Fuck Off Thank You contains ten songs clocking in around 23 minutes and is a must if you’re a fan of hardcore.  Mixing elements of dbeat, hardcore, and good old fashion rock and roll, everything about the album is brutal, including the more melodic “Acoustic Song” (which is far from acoustic) and I’ve never heard such a heavy NOFX (Stranger Than Fishin) and Offspring (No Brakes) cover.

Ratkicker also shines through with their no holds barred lyrics.  Whether it’s the reckless “don’t give a fuck” anthem of “Drugs and Sluts” (“I just wanna live inside a box on Kelly drive so I can drink and smoke and motherfucking die“) or the more introspective “Heartbreaker” (“and well I wanna be a man
but I can’t understand why I’m so shaken by a girl“), it all comes off as pretty damn sincere.

Definitely check these local Philly dudes out, I’ve been listening to it pretty much nonstop lately.  Oh, and they have their album up for download for free, so you really have no excuse.

MP3:
Ratkicker – Street Rat

More:
Ceremony – Violence Violence
Discharge – Self Titled
Coke Bust – Confined
Pig Destroyer – Prowler In The Yard

Site:
Ratkicker Bandcamp

Weekend Nachos – Still (for fans of Coke Bust, Punch, Infest)

weekend nachos

I have to give Weekend Nachos credit… I went to a local power violence show recently and it seemed like every younger kid was wearing a Weekend Nachos shirt, and saying that it was these Illinois dudes that got them into power violence to begin with, so they definitely have a sizable following.  I will admit however, that when I first checked out Weekend Nachos a few years back, I wasn’t a fan at all.  I listened to some of their earlier albums a few years back, and it was too sludgy/slow for my personal tastes so I essentially wrote them off for years until I kept reading rave reviews of their latest album Still.  Holy shit, I’m a fan now.

Playing incredibly aggressive hardcore, Weekend Nachos is reminscent of bands such as Coke Bust or Punch.  On Still the band blends the perfect amount of sludgier riffs and chunkier breakdowns with plenty of blast beat to keep a speed freak like myself interested.  Lyrically, the band tackles a bunch of issues including the ignorance of the punk scene (S.C.A.B and You’re Not Punk) while songs like Ignore and title track Still deal with more personal matters.

If you were originally put off by the band’s earlier slower sound like I was, definitely give Still a chance.  One of my current go-to when I need a quick adrenaline rush.

MP3:
Weekend Nachos – You’re Not Punk

After All These Years I Still Haven’t Found My Way:
Coke Bust – Confined
Pig Destroyer – Prowler In The Yard
Phobia – Cruel

Official Site:
Weekend Nachos

Fantasy Panther, Yautja Live In Philadelphia (2/8/14)

wolfcycles flyer

On Saturday night, I headed to a bike shop called Wolf Cycles out in West Philly for a local punk/grind show.  Upon entering, I immediately fell in love with the place.  Bare bones, upstairs show in a room no bigger than a living room, I got there right in the middle of ASD’s set, and missed Boroughs again (who I’ve been meaning to see, because their Demo which you can stream on their bandcamp is fucking sick.)

ASD:

I missed about half of their set because I was running late, but from the bit I caught, these dudes were sick.  New Jersey’s ASD (or Another Social Disease) played a solid set of hardcore songs with some hints of crossover thrash, reminding me a bit of bands such as Verbal Abuse.  They have their EP up for free download at their bandcamp, go check that shit.

Yautja:

I can’t pronounce the name of this band to save my fucking life (even though they’re named after the alien race in Predator*), but Nashville’s Yautja played heavy and sludgy as fuck hardcore blended with a touch of grind and powerviolence thrown in for good measure.  I’m usually not big into sludge, but these guys were really damn solid and changed it up enough to keep an ADD “I need constant stimulation” dude like myself really into it.  Definitely go check their live show, and they have their latest album up streaming.

Fantasy Panther:

A handful of people left as soon as Yautja finished up their set, their loss… they missed out on a damn good set put on by Philly’s own Fantasy Panther.  I’ve seen these local grind/powerviolence guys a few times, and this set was easily my favorite.  Like anal on a first date, it just FELT RIGHT seeing them in a small west Philly bike shop.  A pit quickly formed while frontman Eddie was jumpkicking, crawling into bass drums, and doing his usual antics to the blastbeats and lightning fast riffs for a short but sweet set.  If you like heavy music at all, go check out Fantasy Panther, and if they ever play near you just do yourself a favor and go see them and check their album streaming on their bandcamp. 

Setlist:
Marionette
some new songs
Their LP in it’s entirety:
Insect
Lycathrope
Thorn
Pigs
Tourniquet
Dystrophy
Rise
Panther
Contort
Beasts

MP3:
Fantasy Panther – Marionette

More shit:
Pig Destroyer – Prowler In The Yard
Phobia – Cruel
Some Girls – The DNA Will Have It’s Say

DANGERS, Vice, Kids, Sore Saints Live In Philly (1/19/14)

dangers show

Dangers have quickly become one of my favorite hardcore bands ever since I started listening to them a few years back, but never had the opportunity to see live on account they’ve never played Philadelphia before.  This past weekend, I almost made some plans to go visit some friends in another city, but then I saw a flyer on facebook for Dangers.  Not only were they playing their first show in Philly ever, but it was a house show at the Golden Tea House.  Oh fuck yes.

I drove out to West Philly, and there was a pretty damn sizable crowd for a Sunday night.  I haven’t been this stoked for a show in a very long time.

Sore Saints:
Sore+Saints

First up were Philly’s own Sore Saints.  These guys were a bit of the black sheep of the lineup, where the rest of the bands were hardcore/powerviolence acts, these dudes played heavier post-punk similar to Joy Division and the darker Smiths songs (guilty pleasure time: I’m a diehard Smiths fan).  They put on a solid set, with plenty of ambiance and heavy reverb, if you like 70s post-punk, you’ll probably dig these guys.

Kids:

There were a lot of people there for PA’s Kids alone, and the second they took the floor a pit immediately broke out.  Thrashy noisy hardcore, Kids put on an energetic set with plenty of people in the crowd shouting along each word.  The band was constantly in the pit itself, with the guitarist rhinocharging through and even completely busting up his guitar in the process, which made them have to end the set 3 songs early.  Still, worth it for the fuck of a show they put on.

Vice:

vice

A handful of people left after Kids, but that is incredibly their fucking loss.  They missed the shit-storm of hardcore that Staten Island’s Vice rained down.  These guys played heavy as fuck hardcore with a healthy dose of powerviolence.  The band wore their influences on proudly on their sleeves, and they definitely had plenty of early NYHC influences as well, even just through the lyrical content.  Often raging against the hardcore scene itself, and keeping things DIY, these guys were clearly pissed… and definitely worth you checking out.

Dangers:

Dangers

Being 28 and going to countless shows, it’s rare for me to get as stoked as I did as a teenager to see a band.  Dangers was an exception.  NOTHING could have prepared me for the fucking blitz that seeing Dangers was going to be: no amount of youtube videos could have possibly hinted at to what I was about to experience. The band set up, stated it was their first Philly show ever, vocalist Al talked about how he grew up going to Philly shows since his Uncle lived a few blocks away from the house, and gave a final “Hi, we’re Dangers from California” before busting into their call to arms “We Broke The P.A”.  The place completely went off, and didn’t let up for the rest of the night.

Their recorded work is completely ferocious, but their live show brings such a viciousness that simply cannot be captured unless you’re actually there to experience it.  With the aggressive as fuck music, I’m convinced that Al may be the most insane frontman of a hardcore band I’ve ever seen with him constantly in the crowd with pile-ons, running wild in the pit, it felt much less like watching a band as much as a community experience, the way that hardcore is meant to be, but something that only a few bands are able to pull off (Paint It Black being one of the only other few ones).

They played an incredibly solid setlist, with most coming off their Anger and Messy, Isn’t It albums, with a few sprinkled in from their latest EP that was released earlier this year.  And even as dark and pissed their lyrics are, there was an air of hopefulness and good vibes about the show.

I feel like I don’t need to go to anymore shows this year, because even though it is incredibly early… I can say with confidence that this little house show was definitely one of the best shows of 2014, let alone one of the best I’ve ever been to.

Fun tidbit: the kid who was bitching that there wasn’t enough “hate mosh” during the song (D)anger(s).  I think you missed the point of the song dude.

Dangers Setlist:
We Broke The PA
Power Chord Blues
Opposable
Goliath
Cure For AIDS
I’ll Clap When I’m Impressed
Saved By The Bouyancy Of Citrus
Half Brother, All Cop
Bottom Of The 9th Ward
Puncture Wound
Stay At Home Mom
No Vonneguts, No Glory
Straight As She Wants To Be
(D)anger(s)
Five O’Clock Shadows At The End Of The Western World
What Goes Up
My Wonder Years Never Got Cancelled
We Have More Sense Than Lies

MP3:
Dangers – A Missed Chance For A Meaningful Abortion

If Meat Is Murder, What The Fuck Is Love:

Dangers – Messy, Isn’t It?
Dangers – Self Titled EP
Dangers – Anger
Dangers – Demo
Ghostlimb – Infrastructure

Fantasy Panther, Ratkicker, Skin Graft (Live in Philadelphia 1/9/14)

fp flyer

This past Thursday I headed out to Philly’s small club The Barbary to catch a grindcore/powerviolence show.  The place had a decent amount of people in it for a random winter Thursday night, and while I unfortunately missed some of the openers (especially Boroughs, from what I’ve heard of them, they’re fucking sick), I was able to catch the final three.

Skin Graft:

Local Philly grind/powerviolence dudes, these guys reminded me a lot of a more midtempo and sludgy Spazz.  The band seemed to missing a member but in true punk don’t give a fuck fashion powered through anyway.  Immediately, the singer jumped down into the crowd and did the entire performance from the floor, giving it a much more house show vibe, and he was definitely all over the place for people who weren’t fans of the music, at least giving them a hell of a show.

Check them out if you like your powerviolence with a little more sludge.

Ratkicker:

Holy shit, these guys completely blew me away.  The band took the stage and started blasting into some melodic punk reminding me a bit of a heavier Lifetime which obviously had me stoked, an Offspring cover, and then switched guitars and started playing some heavy as fuck rock infused hardcore (with occasional hints of D-Beat) which also had me stoked.  They tore through their set and threw in the heaviest cover of a NOFX I have ever heard (Stranger Than Fishin’)… Do yourselves a favor and go to their bandcamp and download their album.

Fantasy Panther:

If one thing could be said about Fantasy Panther, it’s that they definitely know how to put on a good show.  Formed from the ashes of carinval punks An Albatross, the three piece came out in their trademarked “blood”, and immediately blasted into their “what the fuck just happened” grind set.  Vocalist EBG was nothing short of a madman climbing all over the fucking place while all while jumpkicking, growling, and shrieking the often political messages of the songs.

Music for fucking adrenaline junkies, if you dig shit like Agoraphobic Nosebleed and Swallowing Shit, go see these dudes live.  Shows seem to be a bit of a rarity, so see them when you get a chance, and definitely check out their album.

MP3:
Fantasy Panther – Marionette
Ratkicker – Brave New World

More amphetamine fueled music:
Pig Destroyer – Prowler In The Yard
Phobia – Cruel
Some Girls – The DNA Will Have It’s Say

Bane Live At Kung Fu Necktie (Philadelphia 12/1/13)

bane

I can’t think of a better way to start off my December than to go to two shows in one day.  The first one I headed to was a Bane matinee at Philly’s intimate Kung Fu Necktie.  The fact that Bane was playing this tiny ass venue was mindblowing, considering they sell out venues three times the size.

I got there a bit late, but made it just in time for Bane.  The place was packed and I was pretty ready to rage.  Boston hardcore pioneer’s took the dinky stage, shouted “we’re going to start with an old one!” and immediately blasted into “Count Me Out”.  Pile ons, stage dives, and pits immediately broke out with nearly everyone in the crowd yelling along.

The band played as tight as ever, and commented on how this venue takes them back to when they were growing up going to shows in dives that seem to have a little dangerous edge to them.  Apparently this was the first all-ages show ever to happen at the Kung Fu Necktie (although in all honesty I didn’t notice many youngsters there, maybe only us old peeps listen to Bane?)

One thing that I always appreciate Bane is how positive and passionate they still are after all the years they’ve been playing.  From their high energy stage presence, to their between song talks that remind me why I got into hardcore in  the first place years ago.

Bane mentioned that they are finishing up their next (and final) LP, saying that they’ll probably do a few more small tours, come to Philly a bunch more for This Is Hardcore fest, and essentially that they aren’t really going anywhere quite yet.

Definitely a tight setlist, Bane never disappoints live.  Easily one of the best hardcore bands around, it’s always awesome to see them, especially in a tiny ass place like Kung Fu Necktie.

Setlist (From what I remember):
Count Me Out
As The World Turns
Ante Up
My Therapy
The Young And The Restless (I think)
What Holds Us Down
Ali vs Frazier
Superhero
Swan Song
Some Came Running
Can We Start Again?

MP3:
Bane – Count Me Out

Nothing Ever Changes As We All Grow Older:
Bane – Holding This Moment
Scenester 101 – How To Be Hardcore
American Nightmare – Background Music
Ten Yard Fight

Chain Of Strength – The One Thing That Still Holds True Today

 

Western Addiction – Pines (For fans of Black Flag, Minor Threat, Paint It Black)

Western-Addiction-Pines-cover

When San Francisco’s hardcore act made headway with their first full length Cognicide back in 2005, I was completely blown away and left me wanting more.  It took 8 years of being blue-balled, but finally they give us their 3 song EP Pines. 

Pines is exactly what you’d expect from Western Addiction: fast, concise and not really missing a beat from where they left off.  Taking the influences of old pissed hardcore like Black Flag or Minor Threat, Pines is a solid listen for anyone craving some solid punk rock.  There is something a little bit different from Cognicide and Pines, and I don’t think it’s just the expanded songs themselves as much as the recording.  It seems slightly muffled, but doesn’t really take much away from the EP.

Oh, and if Western Addiction comes around your parts, do yourself a favor and go see them.  They tear it up live.

MP3:
Western Addiction – God Says No

Read These Or Die:
Western Addiction W/Good Riddance In Philly Recap
Western Addiction – Cognicide
Scenester 101: How To Be Hardcore

Alkaline Trio, New Found Glory, H2O Live In Philadelphia (11/13/13)

This past Wed, I headed to Philly’s Electric Factory to catch H2O, New Found Glory, and Alkaline Trio.  Usually this isn’t a show I would go to, but I definitely wanted to see H2O and catching Alkaline Trio since it’s been over a decade since I’ve last seen them, and I like the first album by New Found Glory.

H2O:
h2o

H2O GO!  I was easily most excited to see these New York punk/hardcore legends.  Easily the black sheep of the tour, I didn’t expect much of a turnout or a reaction for H2O.  Holy shit was I wrong.  The second the band took the stage, hardcore kids came out in droves and a pit opened up filled with us two stepping and shouting along each word. I’ve never seen H2O before, but as someone who goes to hardcore shows all the time, I will say it was very bizarre seeing them behind a barrier.  I felt like mic grabs and stage dives are a necessary for them.

Regardless, it was still a blast, and while I may be biased with my hardcore leanings, easily my favorite set of the night.

Highlights:
One Life One Chance
Guilty By Association
Nothing To Prove
5 Year Plan
Family Tree

New Found Glory:
new_found_glory

I’d be lying if I said I never listened to New Found Glory.  I used to be a huge fan of their “From Your Screen To Your Stereo” EP and their Self Titled album way back in the day, and still find myself listening to it every now and then (especially the song Vegas… I fucking love that song).  That being said, last time I saw the band I was sort of disappointed, not so much because of their performance itself but just the amount “tough guy bros” who use pits as an excuse to try to start some bullshit fights.  Stay the fuck out of punk.  *Ahem*

Anyways, New Found Glory took the stage and immediately blasted into “All Downhill From Here” which had many singing along and pogoing (while a hardcore pit opened up… which never made sense to me but ok).  I would love to say that I got to watch the majority of their set, but honestly, I wound up catching a stray fist in the pit that just sort of made perfect contact with my nose and I started bleeding fucking everywhere. Great, I go in hardcore pits all the time and do just fine during American Nightmare, Bane, etc… and the one time I’m not even fucking dancing, I get hurt during New Found Glory.  I couldn’t help but crack up at the ridiculousness of it all.

However, this happened during “Hit Or Miss”, and on account that was one of the few songs I actually like by NFG, I made sure to stay and bleed on everyone a bit more and dance… sorry guys. Priorities.

Unfortunately the band did not play Vegas, but did throw in “Sucker” and “Dressed To Kill” so I guess I’ll take what I can get.

Setlist:
All Downhill From Here
Don’t Let Her Pull You Down
It’s Not Your Fault
Understatement
Truck Stop Blues
Sucker
Radio Surgery
I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing (Aerosmith Cover)
Connect The Dots
Hit Or Miss
Listen To Your Friends
Anthem For The Unwanted
Failure’s Not Flattering
Dressed To Kill
Kiss Me
Forget My Name
Truth My Youth
Hold My Hand
My Friends Over You

Alkaline Trio:

alkalinetrio_story1

I remember seeing Alkaline Trio over a decade ago in NJ at Skate and Surf fest, and at the time I was not a big fan of them at all (17 year old me was way to “punx” to listen to them)  Over the years, I grew to appreciate them (mostly Goddamnit, with a few off of Maybe I’ll Catch Fire, and some off their Self Titled), and I only wanted to hear two songs: Cringe and Radio.

The crowd thinned out a bit, with many only there for NFG… their loss.  The second Alkaline Trio took the stage, they blasted straight into Cringe, and I completely lost my shit along with the other oldheads in the crowd.   The band didn’t really let up, and I think put on a much better live performance than their recorded stuff.

The band kept stage banter to a complete minimum, really only taking the time to thank H2O and NFG, and played a solid set. I recently read in an interview that they may go on tour for the 20 year anniversary for Goddamnit, so I’d be stoked to see that (still have some years), and I’d definitely go catch them again if they came around again.

Highlights:
Cringe
Take Lots With Alcohol
I Wanna Be A Warhol
My Standard Break From Life
I Lied My Face Off
My Friend Peter
Radio

MP3:
H2O – One Life One Chance
New Found Glory – Vegas
Alkaline Trio – Cringe

I’ve got a big fat fucking bone to pick with you my darling:
Crucial Dudes – 61 Penn
Smoke or Fire – This Sinking Ship
Saves The Day – Can’t Slow Down
Saves The Day – Through Being Cool