Ish - Hardcore Sunday comes to us courtesy of the DC9 with the first of four area bands. Ish is pretty raw, but they have a good sound and some good ideas. And it is the fourth band on the bill and it is only their sixth show. So it is good to see them getting the experience on a solid bill. They need to work more on vocals and get a lot more comfortable with microphones. But the guitarist exhibits plenty of chops and the rhythm section varies it from mid tempo to a quicker pace pending the song. The rhythm section changes places for one songs and what came close to shambles was actually quite fun as there was a Flipper quality to it, that they will hopefully learn to explore further. Although the best moment of the set was when they pulled a friend on stage who was eating out of a bowl. The soundman, Randy, quickly jumped up and bent a microphone toward the bowl to ensure its spot in the mix. If Ish keeps playing and challenge themselves to further develop the tools they have, they can be at the top of a bill like this some day.
B.S.R. - This twin guitar attack features a vocalist who used to sing for a popular Richmond band, Avail, or so my sources tell me. Based on his energy roaming around the room, climbing every available spot, you would expect him to be just out of teens. And the band had plenty of energy to keep pace as they cranked out quick but tough songs with tight little guitar solos. This was a classic slab of hardcore with a band that had interesting songs that were a pleasure to get involved with. And the energy boost is always welcome in these creaky old bones.
The Creep Crusaders - A trio this time around and while fully absorbed in the hardcore, had yet a different take from the first couple of bands. The sound had a sneering darker quality, although the vocals were more straight forward than that. There was plenty of power and some creative moves at times. I liked their sound and probably would need a couple more listens to fully engage in the material, but their personal approach makes for a subtle shift in a nice four-band bill like tonight.
The Mostly Dead - It is hard for me to believe this band has only been around since 2008, but that means I have been with them pretty much every step of the way. I have always enjoyed their straight ahead classic harDCore sound with plenty of worldly influences. They have always had a way with adding just enough twists and turns to keep it fresh an invigorating for an old timer like myself who has not quite heard it all, but heard all of the classics at least. Tonight they featured material from their forthcoming record which shows even further development. But fear not, they still have all the energy and power with a drummer that knows how to lay down a crisp line for the bass player to stay very busy with rapid fire notes all smoothly linked together. The guitarist can still nail down the crunching chords while leaving room for some interesting sonic explorations tightly woven into the song. Zak lets the vocals fly on high making these songs some of the best they have done. It is a great set tonight and not even a serious snowstorm kept at least a small to moderate crowd from having a great time. I certainly can't blame anyone from staying home tonight, but hopefully you will put this band on your 'to do' list for their next area show as you'll get something classic, yet something fresh. Go for it.
R.I.P. of the night - It was sobering to get the news that Scott Asheton died just before I left for the show. Now both Asheton brothers have left us a little too soon, but not before they could reunite the Stooges and treat us to some of the best rock music, this planet has ever produced. Punk rock could not have happened in the same way were it not for those pivotal Stooges albums. I was fortunate to see the reunion show in four different cities on two different continents and they were all blow-away brilliant. Scott was soft spoken, but was one of my early myspace friends and stayed active with fans all over the world. I'll leave you with the single released by the great Sonic Rendevous Band, which featured Scott and members of the MC5, Rationals, and the Up.