Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fear/Agent Orange/DI/Total Chaos/Bloodhook/Unskilled Professionals/The Pogo - Jaxx - August 4 2009

The Pogo - Three piece band were all members "sang". Dull, dull, dull. A very green band that was just a quiet dull set of cliches that didn't inspire much pogoing. Although there was a small moshpit that tried to form, but it looked more like a carnival bump 'em car ride with a dozen cars out of order. Nothing insulting here, just utterly pointless other than allowing some young kids to get on stage and work out aggression while figuring out if they want to become a real band some day.

Unskilled Professionalz - Also a young local band, but much more promising. A three-piece again that actually had songs and variety and some decent playing. Some dead spots of course, but this band showed me young kids can try to do punk at least at a minimally interesting level without sliding into the oh so many dull cliches.

Bloodhook - Well, the cliches are back. A slicker three-piece with a slightly more metal-punk attack. The players were good, vocals dull, only a couple songs stood out, although one stood out because I thought it was a cover of Sabbath's "Symptom of the Universe", but no, just something sounding way to close. Ho-hum. Was that a Toxic Reasons t-shirt on that woman? Yes it was! Note-Toxic Reasons was the punk band I managed thirty years ago in Dayton, Ohio.

Total Chaos - Hopefully they wouldn't be "total" chaos and their set would hold together a bit. It did. They were a raucous four-piece with a vocalist in front of the basic three. Too bad he couldn't sing, but he was loud and powerful, so it fit well enough. Some metallic leads, but good frantic hardcore punk with some glam metal crossover. Fun, at least and better than I hoped.

DI - The first of three old time LA punk acts that I was amazed that I hadn't seen back in the day. DI is lead by Casey Royer who drummed for the Adolescents in the early days. None of the three behind him was in early versions of DI, but they were all good choices. Casey was humorous as I expected in kind of a California-lite version of Tesco Vee. The band rocked hard and tight and really delivered much more than I expected. "Richard Hung Himself" was a bit too sped up and lost some of the cool dynamics it has, but that happens at live shows, it seems. The drummer looked like William Bendix which was scary.

Agent Orange - Speaking of speeding up and losing dynamics... Agent Orange is a tight three piece that does surf, punk and strong emotive rock (Can I say that and avoid labelling someone emo?--probably not, but I'm not changing it). The band was strong, good, engaging, but the sound was poor. Vocals were lost and not expressive when heard, although that may be part aged singer and part soundman. Still, the highlights were quite good, so I enjoyed the set. It just seemed that the old Poshboy-produced recordings are the way to go.

Fear - I pretty much expected Lee Ving to show up with some mediocre support and was hopeful that it would not be dreadful. It wasn't but it was closer to dreadful than good. But, hey, Fear was never that good. They had a brilliant spot on Saturday Night Live, played a couple great songs in Penelope Spheeris's first Decline movie, and really had nothing else. The first album was ok and had a couple killer songs, but after that there was nothing. I will say that Lee's vocals carried through better than almost all the previous bands and he sounded stronger than I expected. So it's nice to finally see Lee, but once is plenty. And what a hairdo! But maybe it is real based on what I now see below.

Quote of the Night -- "Montrose, you remember Montrose?" from
one of the proud parents who were huddling around me early in
the evening as best I could deduce since they were my age and
not in uniform.

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