Saturday, May 28, 2011

Scream - Off! - The Shirks -- Black Cat - May 27 2011

The Shirks - Good crowd tonight as the Shirks hit the stage. They play a really nice driving melodic brand of punk rock. I'm thinking Angry Samoans crossed with Black Market Baby, at least when those bands were at a good pace. In any case, the songs are agreeable if not quite catchy with a solid hook, stready rhythms, and strong smooth clean guitar work with only a few frills. Straight ahead, not looking back. I clocked this nice little set at 19 minutes, so need for me to pile on the verbage.

Off! - Geeze, I have not seen Keith Morris since Chuck Biscuits was his drummer. He has put together this really good band featuring Steven McDonald of Red Kross on bass, and the guitarist from Burning Bridges and the drummer from Rocket from the Crypt. The sound is vintage LA punk/hardcore formed from Morris' earliest style in Black Flag and the Circle Jerks. He still makes a great front man, although he may be the only guy I have seen with a dreadlock combover. He was working the merch table the whole night and many long time fans enjoyed getting to have a chat with him. The band was even better than I thought. These guys were not just  relying name value, but rocked out. Songs are short, although the set did go to 31 minutes with Morris spending some time with his usual fun brand of odd chatter that circled around a lot, but ultimately made a point--kind of like a mosh pit. Kudos to Scream for flying this excellent band out here just for this show. And if you missed this one, it looks like they are headed back to DC in late June with more punk old-timers, Henry Rollins and Dinosaur Jr.

Scream - The original four members apparently had so much fun the last time they did this (Dec 2009), that they are doing it again. They even played with Corrosion of Conformity the night before in North Carolina making this a mini-tour. Well, not really, but this may not be the last we see of these guys as they have been doing spot shows here and there and even have a new album coming out as well. As for this show, they looked like they were having a blast. The crowd up front was seriously energized although it quickly got polite and quiet as you moved backward. There was some equipment and tuning issues that slowed things down a bit, but that didn't bring anybody down. The band really seemed to push each other and the songs were really smoking. They have many creative little gems to choose from and filled out much of the set with the early classics. It was not always tight, but these guys can play and it was somewhat hard for me to judge, as the sound had a loud swirl which was a bit overwhelming at times. But I did not spend a whole lot of time overthinking this 70-minute set. This was to be enjoyed for its energy and I was absorbed. "Fight/American Justice" still can get me going anytime I hear it.

Quote of the Night: Keith Morris to a young preteen fan who he brought on stage... "No, I am not going to hurt you, I'm too small to be throwing my weight around". Morris reminded me of Jerry Lewis semi-coherently talking to one of "his kids" on his telethon in only a slightly less coherent manner.

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