The Mostly Dead - Showtime is 5:30pm about 5 minutes after they opened the doors. Hardcore Matinee returns, but with only about 10-15 people here for the set. There was so much echo in the sound, I thought the set was more psychedelic than usual. Of course this band is clearly in the hardcore punk school, they are not exactly psychedelic, although creative. Hard to review a show that is this quiet and polite, but the band persevered professionally. They are an excellent band for this genre and you will have other chances to see them, including at the Black Cat in about a week. Are hardcore matinees mostly dead? We shall see.
Dead End Path - The first of two last minute replacement bands, as I learned that for a few reasons including a bad injury, the middle bands canceled and replacements were found. This four-piece is from Wilkes Barre, PA. The crowd swelled to 25-30, so it was still a little tepid and polite. The band still kicked it in with a solid hardcore song with some metal. Nothing overly distinctive, but it rocked nicely. They had a good attitude and did a decent enough job of it.
Naysayer - From Richmond, Virgina comes another four-piece hardcore band. All bands tonight feature a vocalist, guitarist, bassist and drummer. In fact, every bass player was stage left. The fact that I am making notes about that is not a good sign. This band was energetic with a very athletic and intense singer. He did claim to shoot his voice out in the second song, but he kept the guttural singing going well enough. The sound was a bit too metal for me, but it was ok. The crowd is now 35.
Underdog - I was looking forward to seeing this old time NYC hardcore band. I believe I missed them back in the day, but I liked some of the records I heard. In fact, very quickly into this set, I was reminded that I always had them toward the top of my favorite 80s NYC bands from that scene along with Kraut and Token Entry perhaps. The sound was cleaner and tighter and a bit more pure hardcore punk, without the metal touches of Cro-Mags or Sick of it All. The songs had some real pop and the band seemed pretty tight. They even did a couple reggae-punk songs, so you really know they are old-school. A few songs were a little too by-the-numbers, but most were well above the median line for hardcore. Good set to a lively crowd that may have hit 60, so it did start feeling like a real show. And it was dark when I left the club. And I am rewarded by having more time for the required playtime with my cat before I go to bed, so maybe these matinees are not such a bad thing.
Quote of the Night: from Underdog... "This song is so fucking old, it predates the Madonna song with the same name. It's called True Blue."