Ignite, Bane Live In Philly (Setlist and videos 6/19/14)

Starting this summer, it seems like there aren’t as many shows happening in the sweaty and infamous First Unitarian Church basement due to the sweltering heat.  Except for shows you KNOW are going to get way too hot. This past Thursday I headed to the basement to catch hardcore dudes Bane who were on tour with one of my teenager favorites Ignite, making a rare east coast appearance.

The show was completely sold out, and fucking hot as all balls.  People were drenched in sweat when I got there, and that was before Bane played (who would easily get the biggest reaction of the night).  I missed most of the bands but caught part of Give’s set, who were pretty tight and reminded me a bit of Cloak/Dagger. I’ll try to check out their recorded stuff sometime soon.

Bane:

Bane (Full Set) from hate5six on Vimeo.

Even though I’ve seen Bane plenty of times, and caught them twice over the past few months, I was still beyond stoked to see them.  Touring for their new album Don’t Wait Up, it’s currently my favorite album of the year by far and so I was pumped to hear the new songs live.  It did not disappoint.  Bane took the stage and immediately broke into “Ali Vs Frazier”, and the rest was sort of a blur as yours truly raged in the pit (just turned 29, this shit hurts a LOT more than it did when I was 18).  Once the chorus came up shouting “Give Blood, Give Everything!” the place truly erupted, heat be damned.

Aaron talked a bit about how people keep mistaking this as their last tour, which isn’t the case at all.  Don’t Wait Up is their last recorded work (well full length at least, I wouldn’t be shocked to see them release a 7 inch here and there) so no final goodbyes yet.

Always a fun, positive set with Bane.

Setlist:
Ali vs Frazier I
Superhero
All The Way Through
Ante Up
Swan Song
Park St
My Therapy
Count Me Out
Calling Hours
Some Came Running
Can We Start Again

Ignite:

Ignite (Full Set) from hate5six on Vimeo.

It’s been almost 4 years since I last saw Ignite (mostly because it was the last time they came to Philly) and they were one of my staple hardcore bands in my oh so turbulent teenage years.  Sort of a black sheep of hardcore, mostly because vocalist Zoli can actually sing, and sing pretty damn well.

It was clear a lot of the people in the crowd didn’t really have any idea who they were even though they randomly gained some popularity after Zoli joined Pennywise, but those of us who waited around were treated to an energetic, sing along set.

Opening up with Veteran, Ignite played a slightly shortened set due to the curfew and show running a bit late, but still managed to play a shit ton off of most of their releases, even reaching deep in their catalogs to play both Embrace and In Defense.

Zoli announced some exciting news, stating that Ignite was back in the studio working on a new album for the first time in 8 years (and he kept referring to the Our Darkest Days songs as “new ones”…)  Definitely a solid show, I almost even came out of stage dive retirement for Embrace and Run.

Setlist:
Veteran
Poverty For All
Fear Is Our Tradition
Are You Listening
Let It Burn
Run
A Place Home
Embrace
In Defense
By My Side
Judgement Day
Know Your History
Bleeding

MP3:
Ignite – Embrace
Bane – Non-Negotiable

Better Know Your History:
Bane – Don’t Wait Up
Bane – Holding This Moment
American Nightmare – Year One
Chain Of Strength – The One Thing That Still Holds True Today

The Menzingers – Rented World (For fans of Gaslight Anthem, Bouncing Souls, Weezer)

rented world

It’s been a little since I’ve last posted here, and my excuse has been world cup fever.  Holy shit, I’ve been obsessed watching every game… it’s seriously been borderline addiction.  Please help me…

Anyways, one I’ve been meaning to post for a while now is the latest release by (now) Philly’s Menzingers.  Their fourth full length and released just two years after their previous effort, Rented World actually sounds a lot more like the precursor to On The Impossible Past.  My issue with OTIP was that the songs were much more mellowed out, losing some of the punk grit and catchiness that shaped the band with their earlier releases.  On Rented World, The Menzingers return to form with songs like opener “I Don’t Want To Be An Asshole Anymore” and “Rodent”.

The entire album feels more cohesive as well, with the bands melodic and anthematic songs blending into each other over all.  The Menzingers also tap into their pop-punk roots a bit more, with songs like “The Talk” sounding a bit like Green Day.

Like most albums in the whole mid-tempo melodic punk thing, Rented World was a bit of a grower for me, and I’m finding that I’m liking it more with each listen.  Definitely worth checking out if you like your punk rock a little more mellow.

MP3:
The Menzingers – I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore

More:
Holy Mess – Cande Ru Las Degas
The Menzingers – On The Impossible Past
The Menzingers – Chamberlain Waits

Official Site:
The Menzingers

Cro-Mags, Anti-Nowhere League, Hub City Stompers Live In Philly (5/31/14)

This past Saturday, I headed to Philly’s First Unitarian Church’s sweltering basement to catch a pretty diverse and stacked lineup consisting of Heavy Chains, Hub City Stompers, Rude Awakening, Anti-Nowhere League, and the motherfucking Cro-Mags.  The place while packed, wasn’t sold out (how it didn’t sell out is beyond me) and I got there in time to catch NJ’s Hub City Stompers.

Hub City Stompers:
hubcity
I’ve loved Hub City Stompers ever since I saw them back in 2003 at some random NJ ska show, and have caught them MANY, MANY times since then over the years.  After a short breakup, this is the first show I was seeing them at again for nearly 3 years and being a ska band on a hardcore bill, well I wasn’t exactly sure how the crowd was going to react.  Singer Rev poked fun of the fact: “Joe Hardcore you fucked up this time. Booking a ska band on a hardcore show?  What the fuck were you thinking?  Don’t worry guys, I know ska is scary… but we’ll get through this.”

To my (and probably the band’s as well) not only did a bunch of us skank and dance through out the entire set, but also sang along to every word.  Fun set, I know they disappeared for a while to resurrect Inspecter 7, but I always preferred HCS, glad to finally see them back.

Setlist (From what I remember and not in order)
WTFIU?
Where’s My Hooligans?
Chatterbox
Johnny Date Rape
Skins Don’t Cry
Pants Music
Hub City Stompers (Inspecter 7)
Ska Ska Black Sheep

I left to go grab some food and missed Rude Awakening (not really my style of hardcore anyway), but made it back in time for Anti-Nowhere League.

Anti-Nowhere League
antinowhere

The fact Anti-Nowhere League was playing this church basement show was sort of mind blowing.  Added on after the fact when Angelic Upstarts dropped from the show, these British 80s punks completely tore shit up and had one of the biggest crowd reactions.

Anti-Nowhere League took the stage and played their irreverent punk rock with a strong enthusiasm that showed even after all these years, these guys still loved what they do.  Opening up with their call to arms “We Are The League”, the place quickly turned into a circle pitting, pogoing, stage diving frenzy that didn’t really let up for the entirety of the set.

Setlist (From what I remember):
We Are The League
I Hate People
Let’s Break The Law
Skull & Bones
Snowman
Chocolate Soldiers
(We Will Not) Remember You
This Is War
We Will Survive
So What
Woman
For You
Pig Iron
Animal

Cro-Mags:

Cro-Mags-1_652x3671-538x301

Somehow I have never seen the Cro-Mags, so the fact I was finally about to see these guys, I was pretty pumped and intended to lose my shit (which I successfully did).  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect not seeing them before, but clearly they know what people want to hear, and that’s their incredibly influential Age of Quarrel, which they played in almost it’s entirety.

Opening up with World Peace, the place immediately erupted into a free for all of dancing, pile ons, and dives.  They only interrupted the Age Of Quarrel party to play “Crush The Demoniac” and two Bad Brains covers “Right Brigade” and “Attitude” (and honestly I was sort of shocked by the amount of Cro-Mags fans who didn’t know the Bad Brains songs… I thought Bad Brains were one of those bands that EVERY hardcore fan listened to).

A tight set, finally being able to see the Cro-Mags was fucking awesome.

Setlist:
World Peace
Show You No Mercy
Malfunction
Crush The Demoniac
Signs Of The Times
Seekers Of The Truth
Street Justice
Right Brigade (Bad Brains)
Attitude (Bad Brains)
It’s The Limit
Life Of My Own
Don’t Tread On Me
We Gotta Know
Hard Times

MP3:
Cro-Mags – Don’t Tread On Me
Hub City Stompers – WTFIU?

More:
Hub City Stompers – Blood Sweat And Beers
Hub City Stompers – Ska Ska Black Sheep

OFF! – Wasted Years (For fans of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Minor Threat)

OFF!_-_Wasted_Years

Los Angeles supergroup OFF (featuring Keith Morris of Black Flag/Circle Jerks with members of Red Kross, Burning Brides, and Hot Snakes) is back with their 3rd full length Wasted Years, and it’s some of their best work yet.

Even with the band members getting up there in age (Keith Morris is pushing 60), they still manage to rock harder than most punk bands just a mere fraction of their age.  OFF’s Wasted Years sounds like they came straight out of the late 70s / early 80s hardcore era (but without the shitty production) and it shines the second scorcher opener “Void You Out” begins.  From there the album and anger doesn’t let up for a moment, as shown on “Exorcised” where Keith opens saying “Today is a good a day as any, to tell you to go get fucked.”

If you’re a fan of early Black Flag or the Circle Jerks, picking up Wasted Years is a must.  And if you get a chance, go see them live… they put on a hell of a show.

MP3:
OFF! – Void You Out

More:
OFF! – Self Titled
OFF! – First Four EPS

Official Site:
OFF Official Site

Armalite (Members of Paint It Black, Atom and His Package) Live in Philadelphia (5/24/14)

armaliteband
When Armalite announced that they were playing on the already sold out show opening for Spraynard at the First Unitarian Church, I was pissed.  I didn’t have a ticket, nor did I plan on getting one because I’m not really a fan of any of the other bands playing the show besides Armalite.  However, when I went to the facebook event page and saw someone was selling an extra ticket day of the show, I had to pick it up to go see Armalite… I haven’t seen them since 2009.

The local Philadelphia dudes, (featuring Atom of Atom and his Package, Dan Paint It Black/Lifetime/Kid Dynamite, Jeff of Affirmative Action Jackson and Mike of Amateur Party) took the stage announcing that this was their sixth show ever in ten years (I’ve been to three), and with a champagne toast blasted into New Wave.

The band was in high spirits with a sloppy and fun set, and a very small handful of us in the sold out crowd were singing along every word.  Mike was taking his usual jabs at his co-vocalist, apologizing that we needed to sit through Atom’s songs.

They played through the majority of the songs they’ve written (which I guess isn’t hard to do with 14 songs), but they left out “Double Negativity-ing”… ouch.  Awesome fun set, I’m hoping they play a proper headlining show soon, but with all of their side projects and being dads and other real life stuff, I won’t hold my breath, and will plan on seeing them in 2019.

Setlist:
New Wave
I Am Pancreas (Seek To Understand Me)
New Years
Husker Dave
Other Entertainers
Dan’s Hands Melt
Destination: Not at Home
Boots, Sneakers
Entitled
Cover (not sure what song)

MP3:
Armalite – I am A Pancreas, Seek To Understand Me

More:
Armalite – Humongous
Armalite – Self Titled
Lifetime – Hello Bastards

The Flex, Violent Reaction, War Emblem, The Stasi Live In Philly (5/22/14)

violent reaction flyer

This past Thursday sort of on a whim, I headed up to some random house up in North Philadelphia to see a bunch of hardcore bands.  It was the house’s first show ever, as apparently they usually just throw parties there, so the set-up was a bit odd (narrow living room, people standing on the couches, etc) and the place was PACKED.

The Stasi

First up was Philly’s own The Stasi.  Named after East Germany’s secret police and intelligence agency, The Stasi plays hardcore punk that reminded me of Negative Approach.  The band was celebrating the release of their 7 inch “State Voyeurism”, expect to see a post on that and their demo up here soon.  Solid set, go check them out live if you get a chance and their recorded stuff on their bandcamp here.

War Emblem

Next up were Philly’s War Emblem, who played heavy as shit hardcore.  They put on a good set, even as the singer was distracted streaming the Rangers playoff game from his phone on the floor (which I feel for you man, I’d be doing the same if it were the World Cup right now) to which his bandmates harassed him throughout the set, chanting “Fuck the Rangers”.  At times, they reminded me a bit of the illegitimate offspring that would happen if Discharge had an affair with NY hardcore.

Violent Reaction

A switch in the order of the lineup led to some confusion as The Flex were supposed to play next, but Violent Reaction played instead.  Self described as “straight edge hardcore for the anti-social”, I was looking forward to their set since I like what I’ve heard on their Self Titled.  These UK dudes played aggressive hardcore that reminded me of Coke Bust, they had a sizeable pit and people shouting along.  A quick set, go check them if they come around live.

The Flex

Last up were UK’s The Flex, who easily had the biggest reaction of the night.  With a huge pit (well it seemed huge in the house that could hold 6-8 people across tops) and people constantly stage (coffee table?) diving, their set was incredibly high energy.  Playing straight edge hardcore, The Flex were touring to support their latest Wild Stabs In The Dark.  Definitely a solid set, and they seemed legit stoked to be touring in the US.

More Hardcore:
Bane – Don’t Wait Up
Punch – Nothing Lasts
Cokebust – Lines In The Sand
Ceremony – Violence Violence

Bane – Don’t Wait Up (For fans of Comeback Kid, Ten Yard Fight, Gorilla Biscuits)

BaneCover

Massachusetts Bane have been one of the most consistent bands in hardcore and have been for nearly twenty years now.  With plenty of EPs, 7-inches, and now releasing their 4th and final full length (their first in 8 years) Don’t Wait Up is some of the best we’ve seen from Bane.

Kicking off with “Non-Negotiable”, a blistering posi-jam call to arms straight into “All The Way Through”, a chunky melodic song about keeping youthful energy alive while growing old, you know you’re in for a classic Bane album.

However it’s impossible to talk about Don’t Wait Up and not mention the white elephant in the room, and that being Bane stated this would be their final recorded work as a band.  Because of this, there is a theme of melancholy throughout the album.  With masterpieces like “Calling Hour” and “Final Backwards Glance” which declares “I’ve never been much good at saying goodbye.  Goodbye.” one could only imagine it’s about moving on.  Even the album title Don’t Wait Up hints at this, and while sometimes it comes off as a bit cheesy at times, as a fan for many years I can’t help but be upset to see one of my favorite hardcore bands calling it a day.

That being said, the album does remain incredibly hopeful and positive with songs like Park St, which tells the story about how Aaron ran into a fan on the train right when he was feeling hopeless and comes to the conclusion “Maybe I was wrong and I will never be alone. All because we wrote these punk rock songs, and god damn that’s pretty crazy, so fucking amazing.”

Now maybe I’m just in the denial stage of grief, but with bands like Gorilla Biscuits, Flag, Youth of Today, American Nightmare, Lifetime, etc all playing reunion shows, I’m in the camp that no hardcore band truly breaks up anymore.  While they may not record anything for quite some time (and really, this being their first album in 8 years I wouldn’t hold my breath) I’m hoping that they don’t stop playing shows.  Besides, if Don’t Wait Up is any indication, these guys have a lot left in them.  Even if it wasn’t their final album, Don’t Wait Up is a fucking cohesive masterpiece and easily one of my favorites of the year.

MP3:
Bane – Non-Negotiable

Give Blood, Give Everything:
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

OFF, Cerebral Ballzy, Nasa Space Universe Live In Philadelphia (5/16/14)

I’ve been listening to OFF! since their inception nearly 5 years ago, and have never got the chance to see them.  I’ve seen energetic Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks) live when he came around touring with Flag, but was stoked to finally catch him with OFF.  The fact they were playing the intimate (albeit insanely hot) First Unitarian Church just made it even sweeter.

NASA Space Universe:
NSU

I got there in the middle of California’s NASA Space Universe’s set, but holy shit the half that I caught made me a fan.  Playing aggressive experimental noisy punk/hardcore which reminded me a bit of An Albatross or Converge, the band had a huge presence, with the singer leaving the stage to scream on the floor the entire time.  I picked up their CD they were selling that has a few different albums on it, so expect a review up of that sometime in the near(ish) future.

Cerebral Ballzy:
cerebral-300x297
It honestly surprises me how big these Brooklyn punks have gotten.  Somehow signed to Cartoon Network’s (yes you read that correctly) music label, a lot of people throw all their “punk cred” out the window right there.  I however, couldn’t give a shit about that and have seen these guys go from my friend’s living room, dirty basements and shitty bars 5 years ago to opening for both OFF and Flag.

Last time I saw them with Flag though, I was one of the few in the crowd who knew them at all… this time around they had a lot of younger kids shouting along all the words, stage diving, and circle pitting.  Damn.

They put on a solid enjoyable set, playing of songs mostly off of their Self Titled (and I guess their older releases as well since a lot of S/T were rerecorded older songs).  Even without playing “Causing Havoc”, they put on a fun set, and easily won over some new fans that night.  Sure, they may always have that stigma of being what I heard referred to as “those Brooklyn hipsters who are signed to Cartoon Network”, but if you’re avoiding them based on some pigeon holing, you’re missing out on some good old fashioned 80s influenced punk rock.

Highlights:
On The Run
Don’t Tell Me What To Do
Insufficient Fare
Drug Myself Dumb
Puke Song
Sk8 All Day
Cutting Class

OFF!:

Photo by Lindsey Byrnes

Photo by Lindsey Byrnes

Finally, the main reason I came to this sweaty basement of a church on a Friday night to begin with (well, Cerebral Ballzy too).  The band and crowd was in high energy mode as they took the stage and blasted into opening track “Void You Out” off of their latest Wasted Years (post coming, but spoiler alert: it’s sick).  Pits and stage dives immediately broke out with the guitarist jumping on top of the crowd and Keith running around the stage… and for a man pushing his 60s, Keith has more anger and energy than most bands just a fraction of his age.

A blistering set, Keith took plenty of jabs at the crowd in his snarky form: “Did anyone here read the punk rock manual?  No, not the one by Sid Vicious.  Rule #1, don’t look like Sid Vicious.  Rule #2, when you come on stage… 3 second rule.  Come on, dance a bit, and get the fuck off.  We’ve seen it all before, unless you do a triple back flip from the speakers, you’re not impressing anyone.”

He took jabs at himself and his other projects too: “No, we’re not playing Rise Against, Rise Above, or whatever the fuck that song is called.  Nor are we playing Wild in the Streets.  You’re going to have to wait for punk rock karaoke to come around again”

The band played a blistering set playing songs off all of their releases with the majority off of the First Four EPs.  High energy, OFF put on a hell of a set, and these guys even with their age and other projects have not lost an ounce of their aggression.  Young bands take note, you can learn a thing or two from these veterans.

Setlist:
Void You Out
Black ThoughtsBorrow And Bomb
Hypnotized
Now I’m Pissed
No Easy Escape
Poison City
King Kong Brigade
Rat Trap
Red White And Black
I Got News For You
Legion Of Evil
Blast
Crawl
Darkness
Wrong
Over Our Heads
Jeffrey Lee Pierce
Wiped Out
Panic Attack
I Don’t Belong
Upside Down

MP3:
Cerebral Ballzy – Puke Song
OFF – I Got News For You

More:
OFF! – Self Titled
OFF! – First Four EPS
Cerebral Ballzy – Self Titled
Cerebral Ballzy – You’re Idle EP

Ma Jolie, Hold Tight, Old Flings, Sad and French, Address Live In Philly (5/14/14)

Holy shit… it’s been 3 whole years since I’ve last seen my homies in Richmond, VA’s pop-punk band Hold Tight play, so when I saw they were stopping at West Philly’s Golden Tea House for a pre Pouzza Fest show, there was no way I was missing that.

Address:

Address Philly

First up were Philly locals Address.  Featuring members from old NJ/Philly hardcore band One Win Choice, Address plays a mix of punk/post-hardcore/emo/indie and they blend the styles together masterfully. With a slew of pedals and effects, Address is able to create a wall of sound all while playing catch punk influenced tunes.  Definitely a solid set (as usual per these guys), and even though they’re a little slower than what I usually listen to, I have nothing but mad respect for these guys.  Besides, they played a song called Space Jam, and that is seriously one of the greatest movies of all time.

Sad And French:

Sad and French

I’ve never heard of these guys before, but from France they are not.  Sad?  Well maybe.  But regardless, these New York folk punkers put on one hell of a catchy set.  Looking at their Bandcamp, it appears like most of the songs are acoustic, but they played with their amps plugged in last night, although they didn’t lose any of that folk feel (even busting out a harmonica at one point).

Their sound reminded me a bit of Run Forever, and my friend put it perfectly when he described their music as “awesome.  It’s the type of music you drink whiskey to.”  I need to check out some of their recorded stuff, even if acoustic isn’t my jam these songs were catchy as herpes (that you probably caught from too much whiskey influenced bad decisions).

Old Flings:

oldflings

Another band I haven’t heard of but was pleasantly surprised by their set was Asheville’s Old Flings. Self proclaimed rock/power pop, these guys played with plenty of punk and metal influences with plenty of heavier riffs, and put on a killer set.  They legit seemed thrilled and stoked to be playing, and it appeared they generally were having a fucking blast.  That type of energy is contagious, and they made a fan out of me.

Hold Tight:

holdtight

Seriously, I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since I’ve last seen these Richmond pop-punkers (and occasional hardcore band).  Since I’ve last seen them, they’ve put out an EP and a full length, and was pretty stoked to finally hear these songs live.  Hold Tight played an energetic set with their melodic pop-punk that takes plenty of cues from old Saves The Day and Lifetime.  Definitely give them a listen, easily one of my staples.  Rad dudes, rad time.

Setlist (Not in order or complete):

Virginia Is Beautiful, WIsh You Were Here
Meade Skeleton Birthday Party
$122.50
Power Converter
Mother Leopard
Moving Day
Purple Beanie
Sky Watching
Rock Garden
Can’t Take This Away
Wonder

I didn’t get to see Ma Jolie as I had to bounce before they got a chance to play, but it was definitely a solid and fun show, and if last night was any indication these bands are going to tear up Pouzza Fest.  After talking with a bunch of people last night, I’m really fucking tempted to head up there for this weekend.  I mean, Dillinger Four is fucking playing along with SNFU….

MP3:
Hold Tight – $122.50

More:
Hold Tight – Blizzard Of ’96
Hold Tight – Can’t Take This Away
Hold Tight – Call The Zoo
Hold Tight/Direct Hit Split (Hardcore)

 

The Holy Mess – Cande Ru Las Degas (For fans of The Menzingers, None More Black, Smoke or Fire)

holy-mess cande

If you were to judge The Holy Mess’s latest Cande Ru Las Degas by the acoustic opening track of “My Boring 90s”, you’d think “shit, another punk band has gone all soft” while ripping out your speakers in disgust and throwing them in the street.  You’d probably then light said speakers on fire, dropkick a baby, and burn your city to the fucking ground.  Well fret not dear reader, I’m here to tell you that Cande Ru Las Degas is a solid melodic punk album and classic Holy Mess album through and through (although you might want to consider going to anger management, dropkicking babies isn’t cool.  Well, maybe unless you’re Michael Jackson but he’s dead so you’re clearly not him, douche.)

Containing ten catchy songs clocking in just around a half hour, Philadelphia’s Holy Mess haven’t really missed a beat.  While Menzingers-esque “Within the Range Of A Raven” shows that the band has certainly matured in their music writing, insanely infectious “Hospitals” and “Cold Goodbyes” show what The Holy Mess are all about: writing some of the catchiest songs, having a great fucking time, all while singing about some of the most depressing shit imaginable.

On Cande Ru Las Degas, The Holy Mess succeed where many melodic punk bands fall flat.  They’ve managed to craft songs that show how they’ve matured but never lost touch with their roots or sound that made fans fall in love with them in the first place.

MP3:
The Holy Mess – Hospitals

More Punk Rock:
The Holy Mess – Dismount
Holy Mess – Briefcase Full Of Bruise
The Holy Mess Live In Philly Recap
The Menzingers – On The Impossible Past

Official Site:
Holy Mess