Tag Archive for hardcore

Bane’s Final Shows – Night 1 and Night 2 Live In Philly (5/6/16)

Night 1:
If you were a hardcore fan anytime during the late 90s/early 00s, you more than likely listen to Bane.  These Massachusetts hardcore dudes have been a staple for as long as I’ve been listening, and it’s with a heavy heart I walked into the sweaty sold out church basement knowing that it was their final shows.

I got to the basement a few songs into Boysetsfire’s set.  The place was incredibly packed, but I was able to make my way closer up.

Boysetsfire:

BOYSETSFIRE (Full Set) from hate5six on Vimeo.

Hailing from Newark Delaware, Boysetsfire has been one of the more influential post-hardcore bands.  Mixing a blend of emo with hardcore, Boysetsfire inspired countless east coast bands, and definitely has a solid following.

I got to the church about halfway into their set, and they had plenty of the packed basement singing along.  Of course, with it being a hardcore show, their heavier songs got a much bigger reaction with the set completely going off on closers “After The Eulogy” and “Rookies”.

Bane:

Bane (Full Set) from hate5six on Vimeo.

Maybe it was the fact that Bane was playing the following night as well, but even though this was one of Bane’s final Philly shows as an active touring band, it didn’t really feel like one of their final shows.  Taking the stage and announcing “Philadelphia, we’re Bane, let’s fucking do this” before erupting into “All The Way Through”.  The place opened up and turned into a flurry of two stepping, stage dives, with vocalist Aaron jumping into the crowd a few times.

Launching straight into arguably their biggest song “Can We Start Again”, it’s this moment that separates Bane shows from countless other shows and makes them so special.  The entire place was immediately shouting along, to the point where the band was drowned out by the singing crowd.

Bane played an incredibly solid set as usual, and all things considered, it didn’t feel like much of a goodbye show as much as a regular Bane show.  Of course, there was the thought in the back of my mind that this could very well be the last time I hear these songs live again.  An incredible show, I was lucky enough to get tickets the following night as well to their actual final Philly show as an active touring band.

Setlist:
All The Way Through
Can We Start Again
Speechless
Swan Song
Some Came Running
Final Backward Glance
Both Guns Blazing
Ali Vs. Frazier I
Post Hoc
Count Me Out
My Therapy
Calling Hours

Night 2:

I’m not going to lie, I was sore as all hell from the night before, but this was Bane’s final Philly show as a touring band so there was no way I was missing this.  I got to the church at the start of Boysetsfire set, and while still sold out, there were definitely less people the 2nd night than the first.

Boysetsfire:

Boysetsfire more or less played a similar set as the night before, but I definitely think they sounded tighter and more energetic the 2nd night.  After their opening song, they declared “Hey, if you like us we’re Boysetsfire.  If you don’t, we’re sorry… we’re kind of at fault for all those shitty sing-songy,screamy bands these days… sorry about that to all you hardcore fans.  We didn’t expect it to turn into that.  I guess we can blame Braid.”

Taking some light-hearted jabs at Bane and themselves essentially saying “Bane is on their last tour, but trust us, you should never say you’re breaking up.  Taking a break or hiatus maybe, but not breaking up.  But that’s how you make money.  Oops, did I say that out loud?”  Then had the drummer from Bane come out and do a song with them.  A solid set (again), I definitely think they were tighter the second night.

Bane:

There was a weird air about the church right before Bane’s set, and no, I’m not talking about the oh-so-lovely aroma of a bunch of sweaty punk kids crammed together in a sweltering basement.  No, there was definitely a mix of sadness and excitement in the air as Bane played their final Philly show as an active touring band.

Bane has always been one of those bands that have always been there since I’ve started listening to hardcore many years ago, and at the risk of getting all sappy, their angry yet positive message music got me through some really tough times in my life.  I know most people in that room felt the same way.

Before the band started, Joe Hardcore gave a little goodbye speech talking about how they have been a staple in the scene.  The second they started playing, I was immediately covered in silly string as the place turned into a complete party, with people throwing beach balls around and water balloons were dousing the crowd.

Bane ripped through their set, which was mostly different from the night before minus the obvious fan favorites.  The whole night was a blur and the show was over as soon as it started as they closed with “Can We Start Again”, which we chanted well after Bane left the stage.  It was the perfect two nights to end their legacy.

In a world where the fucking Misfits reunite with Danzig, I don’t think many punk bands really breakup these days.  I’m sure, or at the very least sure as hell hope that Bane will continue to play more shows in the future and do the occasional spin-off reunion show.

However, even if they reunite in the future and as excited as I will be for it, I think it will be very different than it is now.  Probably reuniting to do a few spinoff hardcore fests here or there, I doubt I’ll get to see them in the confines of a sweaty basement anymore or the dingy stages of a tiny venue.  I left the church with mixed emotions, happy I was able to be a part of this and see them both nights one final time, but with a heavy heart knowing that it was an end of an era.

Setlist (from what I remember, not in order or complete):
Superhero
Non-negotiable
Ante Up
Final Backwards Glance
My Therapy
Sunflowers and Sunsets
Can We Start Again

MP3:
Bane – Non-Negotiable
Boysetsfire – My Life In The Knife Trade

PEARS, Such Gold Live In Philly (4/14/16)

A couple weeks ago, I headed out to Philly dive bar Kung Fu Necktie in order to catch one of my favorite bands around these days, New Orleans PEARS.  The place had a decently sized small crowd considering it was a Thursday night and the past few times I’ve seen PEARS it seemed most didn’t know who they were,  I got there a few songs in Such Gold’s set.

Such Gold:

such goldI haven’t really heard these Rochester, NY dudes before, but they clearly have a strong following.  It seemed more people knew who they were than PEARS, and had people dancing and singing throughout their set.

Such Gold played a style of music that any fan of the pop-punk would appreciate.  Reminding me of a mix of newer pop-punk bands such as Handguns or Transit and mixing it with more melodic hardcore like A Wilhelm Scream and Lifetime, these guys played a pretty energetic set.

I couldn’t tell you what songs they played or anything as I’m not too familar with them, but if you dig your melodic hardcore closer to the pop-punk side of the spectrum, check them out.

PEARS:
Pears

Ever since I first heard PEARS last year, I’ve played their album “Go To Prison” nonstop.  They’ve become one of my favorite bands with their energetic live shows, seamlessly blending elements of thrash, pop-punk, hardcore, and everything in between.

Touring to support their recently released sophomore album “Green Star”, (which I’ve been meaning to post a write-up about but have been busy as shit… but spoiler: I’ve been listening to it daily since it came out), PEARS took the stage and ripped into “Forever Sad”.  Energetic as always, singer Zach was all over the stage and jumping into the crowd even with his shattered hand (which he broke earlier on an Australian tour when he jump punched the floor).  With a handful of us dancing and singing along, PEARS ripped through their short set consisting of a decent mix of both albums.

One of the best bands around today in general, if PEARS comes through your area, do yourself a favor and go check them out.  Both of the albums are amazing, as is the 7-inch they have out (which consists of the original versions of Snowflake and Anhedonia) and they absolutely kill it live.

Setlist (from what i remember, not in order)
Forever Sad
Hinged By Spine
Cumshots
I Love My Kennel
You’re Boring
Breakfast
Anhedonia
Snowflake
Sycophant
Victim To Be
Green Star

MP3:
PEARS – You’re Boring

Graf Orlock – Crime Traveler (For fans of DANGERS, Ghostlimb, Pig Destroyer)

Graf-Orlock-Crime-Traveller

LA’s Graf Orlock are finally back with their latest album Crime Traveler, their first full-length in since 2009’s Destination Time Today.  Known for their heavy hardcore/grindcore mixed with clips and lyrics focused on various movies, Crime Traveler follows the same format, only this time focuses on a script that the band themselves wrote.  A concept album through and through, Graf Orlock writes:

“The Crime Traveler film tells the story of a French-Canadian assassin who discovers a wormhole and travels back in time to kill American politicians so that Canada can attain superpower status in the future. As the samples selected for the album illustrate, our anti-hero zips through time and space on his mission – rubbing elbows with John Hinckley at the Reagan assassination, witnessing the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and more.”

Sure, the story is a bit Terminator-esque and the dialog and acting (at least from the little I gathered from the intro clips) is downright awful at times (as is expected with a B-movie) but that’s besides the point.  Graf Orlock has always been about fun, and this album definitely is, and the music is the same crushing, chugging hardcore we’ve come to love from Graf Orlock.  Opener “Bad Cell Service On Connecticut Avenue” is an aggressive blast beat fueled song about the Reagan assassination attempt, while the proceeding  “600,000 Tons Of Explosive Ordance” displays Graf Orlock’s sludgier side.

One thing noticeably different from their earlier full lengths is singer/guitarist Justin (of Dangers/Ghostlimb) has much more vocal duties, and their old singer left the band since Destination Time Today (no, he didn’t actually die in a car crash) and has been replaced.  If you’ve been following the bands EPs since including “Doombox” and “Los Angeles”, you’ll know the new singer fits right in, but doesn’t have the higher pitched shrill screams of the old vocalist.

A fun and blistering album, Graf Orlock nails it as usual.  If you’re a fan of grind with more punk/hardcore influences than metal, definitely pick up “Crime Traveler”, it’s a killer album that I’ve been listening to pretty much daily as of late.

MP3:
Graf Orlock – Bad Service On Connecticut Ave

More:
Graf Orlock – Destination: Time Today
Graf Orlock – Destination Time Tomorrow
Ghostlimb – Infrastructure
Ghostlimb – Bearing And Distance
Dangers – Messy, Isn’t It?
Dangers – Anger

Official Release:
Bandcamp

American Nightmare Live In Philly (3/4/15)

American Nightmare

Boston’s American Nightmare have been one of my favorite hardcore bands since I was an angsty 18 year old in 2003, and I find myself listening to their albums and EPs pretty regularly even 13 years later as an angsty 30 year old.  Their music got me through a lot of shit, and the first time I saw them over a decade ago with Hope Conspiracy still remains one of my most memorable show experiences ever.  On a cool Friday night, I headed to Philly’s sold out Underground Arts right as American Nightmare was setting up.

The place was pretty packed, but there was a surprising amount of room for a sold out show.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect: I’ll be honest, as much as I love American Nightmare, the past few times I’ve seen them in bigger venues have been a bit strange feeling, with Wes having a hard time hitting the screams and the overproduction feel of the venue.  Well let me just say that this was without a doubt the best AN performance I’ve seen since I went to their reunion show up in Boston a few years back.

The band took the stage and opened with “AM/PM” which had us opening a pit and immediately piling on.  Ripping into “Hearts” without skipping a beat, Wes and crew were on point playing a tight, fast paced show with barely any time to breath as they shredded through their set.  Playing a majority of songs off of both Background Music and Year One, it felt right to have them in a smaller venue again (while I’ve had fun in the past seeing them in NYC at Webster Hall, it always felt a little bit…off.)

Setlist:
AM/PM
Hearts
Love American
(We Are)
Please Die
Fuck What Fireworks Stand For
Shoplifting In A Ghost Town
I Saved Latin
Calculation Nation
Protest Song #00
I’ve Shared Your Lips And Now They Sicken Me
Postmark My Compass
Your Arsonist
Farewell
There’s A Black Hole In The Shadow Of The Pru

Encore: (I think they did Crime Scene, but I don’t really remember)

MP3:
American Nightmare – The Ice Age Is Coming!

I Drew A Heart Around The Name Of Your City:
American Nightmare – Year One
American Nightmare – Background Music
Scenester 101: How To Be An Old School Hardcore Kid In 10 Easy Steps!

PEARS Live In Philly (12/10/15)

Pears

Ever since I saw PEARS open for Teenage Bottlerocket a few months back and I got a copy of their debut Go To Prison, I haven’t been able to stop listening to them.  New Orleans PEARS mix their aggressive hardcore so seamlessly with Descendent’s inspired pop-punk, it seriously is the most catchy and addicting music I’ve heard in a long time.

I got to Johnny Brenda’s intimate small room just in time for PEARS, and the place was actually nowhere near as dead as I expected it to be for a random Thursday night 21+ show.  Once PEARS took the stage, it was clear a lot of people weren’t too familiar with the band itself but were there to support the Philly local drummer.

If there’s one thing that makes PEARS stand out live, it’s their incredibly explosive stage presence.  From the second they opened with “Little Bags” vocalist Zach was all over the place jumping all around the stage with his bizarre and entertaining antics.  This continued throughout the course of the night, jumping and rolling through the crowd even though there were only a handful of us who were singing along (although everyone did seem to be digging them).

PEARS played pretty much every song they have maybe minus one or two for a quick and explosive set.  Bonus points for somehow incorporating what I’m pretty sure was Super Nintendo’s Donkey Kong Country’s aquatic level music in their set as an intro before one of the songs.

Easily becoming one of my favorite bands, PEARS killed it, and if you haven’t had a chance to check them out yet, get on it.

Setlist: (not in order)
Little Bags
Sycophant
Anhedonia
You’re Boring
Terrible
Framework
Breakfast (I think they did this one)
Forever Sad (I think)
Judy Is A Punk (Ramones)
Victim To Be
Grime Spree

So pretty much everything except Snowflake if I remember correctly.

MP3:
PEARS – You’re Boring

Good Riddance, Off With Their Heads Live In Philadelphia (9/24/15)

good riddance off with their heads flier

I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to make it down to Philly’s First Unitarian Church basement with all the shutdowns that were happening in the city for the pope.  With most of Center City having incredibly strict parking in affect, and much of our mass transit shut down (even 2 days before the pope arrived because Philly went completely nuclear over it) I decided to take the chance and head down because I sure as hell wasn’t about to miss Good Riddance and Off With Their Heads.

I got to the basement, and it was pretty under-attended for a church show, and it was clear that many others were scared off by Philly’s insane shutdowns.  No matter.  I missed Iron Chic but got there in time for Off With Their Heads.

Off With Their Heads:
OffWithTheirHeads

 

I’ve been a fan of these Minneapolis punks for some time now ever since they released “From The Bottom”, and there was a time period where they used to come around and I’d see them 3-4 times a year, I haven’t caught them in almost 2 years.

It was clear once Off With Their Heads started, the majority of fans were there for them.  Opening with “Focus On Your Own Family”, Off With Their Heads played a tight set of their gritty sing-along punk consisting mostly of songs off their latest album (ok it’s 2 years old now) HomeWith plenty of people singing along, the band ripped through their set, and after forgetting how one song goes, decided they’d take the request “Die Today” which got the biggest reaction of the night.

A solid set, and while I wish they did a few more older songs as well, it’s always good to see these guys live.  I just wish they came around more often these days.

Setlist (From what I remember):
Focus On Your Own Family
Drive
Altar Boy
Don’t Make Me Go
Come Find Me
Nightlife
Shirts
Spare Time
Seek Advice Elsewhere (I think they did this one)
Die Today
Start Walking
Clear The Air

Good Riddance:

good riddance

A lot of people split by the time Santa Cruz’s Good Riddance took the stage (their loss), leaving the church with plenty of room.  Good Riddance has been at it since 1986 before taking a 5 year hiatus in 2007 and then coming back and recording Peace In Our Time this year.

The band took the stage and opened into Ballads Of The Revolution’s “Without Anger” and didn’t really let up for the entirety of the night, leaving little time for stage banter as they cranked out songs from most of their expansive discography.  With only a few of us dancing throughout the set and singing along, it was a bit different from when I saw them last time they came around Philly but that didn’t deter Russ (who was supporting a Madonna shirt who also happened to be playing Philly) and crew as they cranked out their melodic hardcore.

Good Riddance to this day is one of the tightest live bands around, and put on an energetic performance even to a smaller crowd in a big venue (thanks pope…).  Go see Good Riddance live, they kill it.

Setlist:
Without Anger
Disputatio
Last Believer
Think Of Me
Weight Of The World
Steps
Dry Season
A Credit To His Gender
Slowly
Dylan
Yesterday’s Headlines
Half Measures
Shit Talking Capitalists
Running On Fumes
Fertile Fields
One For The Braves
Mother Superior
Take It To Heart
Libertine
Letters Home
Shadows Of Defeat
United Cigar
Heresy, Hypocrisy, And Revenge

MP3:
Good Riddance – Libertine
Off With Their Heads – Drive

More:
Good Riddance – Peace In Our Time
Off With Their Heads – Home
Off With Their Heads – Hospitals

Limp Wrist Live in Philly (8/9/15)

Limp Wrist

The other Sunday evening, I headed down to one of my favorite venues in Philly, The First Unitarian Church to catch a rare show from queercore legends Limp Wrist.  While not sold out, the church basement was pretty full of punks from all colors of the spectrum: straight, gay, trans, lesbian, etc.  Shorts were definitely shorter (as is Limp Wrist’s trademark) and there was plenty of pink.

I was pretty excited for this show, not just because I fucking love these guys, but also due to the recent victory in the Supreme Court making marriage legal nationwide for all people, regardless of sex.  I got to the incredibly hot basement right as Limp Wrist was setting up, and once Limp Wrist took the stage they got the party started with “Just Like You” off their Want Us Dead EP. 

Breaking out into pits and stage dives, we raged throughout their set of classics, but also some new songs coming off a new album that should be coming out some time next year.

The band kept stage banter to a minimum, and shit got weird as one dude got naked in the pit (which, by the way turns out will kill a pit with lightning fast speed).  Martin kept things rowdy by jumping into the crowd and onto the floor as he did “Limp Wrist” and was bombarded with pile ons and sing-alongs.

Limp Wrist is one of rowdiest and fun hardcore bands around, and I’m stoked to hear some the new album. If you’re lucky enough to have them play a rare show near you, fucking do yourself a favor and go.

Setlist:
Just Like You
Back In The Day
Bought Out
Fake Fags
Smear The Fear
S.T.A
What’s Up With The Kids
To The Grave
Man To Man
Fucks With My Head
All Gone Grey
Spun
Complex
Want Us Dead
Collapse
Dead Weight
Limp Wrist
Ode
I Love Hardcore Boys

MP3:
Limp Wrist – Smear The Fear

More:
Limp Wrist – Self Titled LP
Ceremony – Violence Violence

Shitty Friends – Crime Line 7″ (For fans of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Western Addiction)

shitty friends crime line

A punk 7-inch should leave a listener wanting more, and that’s exactly what Lancaster PA’s Shitty Friends Crime Line does.  With four songs finishing just around 5 minutes, you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into with the title opener: no frills or bullshit, just late 70s early 80s style hardcore punk.

Very reminiscent of early Circle Jerks and Western Addiction, with “Last Call” even reminding me a bit of later Exploited when they went more hardcore.  You’re not going to find anything ground breaking or new with Shitty Friends, and that’s exactly what I love about this 7-inch.  It’s refreshingly simple face smashing punk rock, and you should definitely pick this one up over at their bandcamp.

MP3:
Shitty Friends – Crime Line

More:
OFF! – First Four EPS
Western Addiction – Cognicide
Government Warning – No Moderation

 

Good Riddance – Peace In Our Time (Rise Against, Bad Religion, 7 Seconds)

good-riddance-peace-in-our-time

Life’s busy man.  It’s been months since I’ve had a chance to post a proper* review of an album, and I’ve been sitting on Peace In Our Time for a little bit now.  Released at the end of April, Good Riddance is back with their 8th full length, and their first one in nine years.

Santa Cruz’s Good Riddance has been at it for a while now.  After calling it a day back in 2007, only to reunite five years later, these guys continue to produce incredibly energetic fast paced melodic hardcore.

From the very beginning of opener “Disputatio” with it’s heavy chugging bass and instant guitar assault, it’s clear that even though it’s been nine years, Good Riddance haven’t missed a beat.  Russ is still on point with his aggressive yet cleanly delivered vocals tackling both socio-political and personal issues.

Songs like “Dry Season” and “Year Zero” are up there with Good Riddance’s heaviest songs, while “Running On Fumes” and “Washed Away” lean more towards the melodic sides of things with the chorus even bordering straight pop-punk.

Definitely will please any Good Riddance fan, while so many bands change their style and “grow”, Good Riddance has proven once again you can grow a bit without changing up the music much.

MP3:
Good Riddance – Disputatio

More:
Good Riddance Live In Philly Recap
Western Addiction – Cognicide
Nofx – Ribbed
Bad Religion – Suffer

Bane, Backtrack Live In Philadelphia (4/23/15)

bane flyer

This past Thursday, I headed out to Philadelphia’s small bar Voltage Lounge to see one of my favorite hardcore bands of all time, Bane.  The place was decently packed when I got there, and I got there in time to catch Long Island hardcore dudes Backtrack.

Backtrack:

backtrackband

Backtrack is one of the bigger names in hardcore today, and it definitely showed once they took the stage.  A pit immediately broke out with people raging throughout the entirety of their set and didn’t let up.  7 year running Backtrack play a style of hardcore that takes it’s roots from NYHC bands like Madball, yet blends it with a faster youth-crew era style at times.

Personally, not my type of hardcore (I’m not a fan of the more metal infused breakdown hardcore), but they put on a solid and enjoyable set regardless with tons of stage presence and energy.  If you dig bands like Turnstile or Suburban Scum, you’d dig these guys.

Bane:

bane

I’ve seen Bane a shit load of times, and I’m always still insanely excited every time I see them.  Worcester’s Bane is one of the few bands who seem to truly love what they do, and play every show with a lot of heart and passion.  For a band that has been at it for 20 years now, this is beyond fucking impressive.

As Bane was setting up and mic checking, they started to sing along with the between sets music track “Lean On Me”, getting the entire crowd to sing along and having lighters thrown in the air waving back and forth: not your usual site at a Bane show.  That didn’t last long though, once they opened their set with “My Therapy”, we erupted into a frenzy of two steps, stage dives, and sing alongs, which only intensified as they segued straight into “Ali Vs Frazier”.

Usually when bands play songs off later albums, they don’t often get a big reaction (especially if you’ve been cranking out songs as long as Bane has), but everything off Don’t Wait Up was met with enthusiasm.  Of course, the song that got the biggest reaction was “Can We Start Again”, and people were jumping off speakers at this point.

Little side note: vocalist Aaron took some time to talk about how nothing on tour (and life) is certain, where they’ve played places they expected to be dead to be insane, and places the reaction are usually good to be low key, but that Philadelphia always goes off and is insane.  Usually I would think a band says that at every show, but I’ve seen Bane elsewhere, and there always is a good reaction in Philly compared to other places I’ve seen them.

Setlist:
My Therapy
Ali Vs Frazier
All The Way Through
Count Me Out
Non-Negotiable
Some Came Running
Swan Song
Calling Hours
Can We Start Again
Super Hero
Final Backward Glance

MP3:
Bane – Non-Negotiable

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