Hardcore, hardcore, and more hardcore.
And that's just the wardrobe of those who attended the show!
But seriously, this show was as hardcore as they can get. Roughly 200 of us were packed into the third floor of the historic Eagle's Reception Hall in sunny Rock Island, IL [hell, Black Flag played here in 1985, I figure that's enough history for the venue] and we witnessed a rock show for the ages.
First up were locals Fork Knife Spoon. Their sound was heavy on the hard, even heavier on the core. It was very sludgy and muddy, but the kids dug it. One cool thing is that even though there was a stage set up, the band played on the floor [setting the trend for the whole night].
As FKS finished up their 4 song set, The Organ began blasting their intense rhythms from the side of the venue where they had haphazardly set up shop. The band didn't even wait for Fork Knife Spoon to finish their set, playing instead simultaneously for a few minutes [causing much confusion in the crowd about where to mosh]. The Organ is another local Quad Cities band, and consists of three bassists, a drummer, and a singer. Or so I thought. There were only two bassists tonight, so I don't know if this is a permanent change, or what. The band did sound significantly better than the last time I had seen them, though - their new songs actually are *danceable,* in a strange hardcore way. After they wrapped up their also-short set, the crowd shuffled back to the main floor area where Meth and Goats were setting up.
Meth and Goats, another local band, were described to me as "At The Drive-In meets stoner rock." I could hear the ATDI influence immediately, but the stoner rock notsomuch. To me, they sounded like a perfect example of what kind of angular post-rock Dischord has currently been cranking out for the past decade [although a bit harder than Jawbox, and a bit weirder than Q and Not U]. Their set, also performed on the floor, was good, but not good enough to make me pick up a CD. Their singer did perform barefoot, though, and with a crowd of this size [that continually broke out in random spurts of moshing], that took balls.
The first out of town act of the night, Seattle's Akimbo, set up in the second area, and proceeded to rock the whole crowd silly for about a half an hour. I really don't know how to describe them, besides their bassist screamed/yelled a lot, their rhythm section was impeccable, and they seemed to channel the energy of the previously mentioned Black Flag [remember the beginning of the review? It all makes sense now, right?]. Their screamy hardcore punk brought the house down, with clapping, fingerpointing, and moshing aplenty. They even covered a Black Sabbath song ["Sweetleaf," for those curious]. My roommate bought their CD and just told me it's not nearly as good as they are live, but I didn't expect it to be. Be on the lookout for Akimbo.
And finally, the moment the whole crowd had been waiting for - Seattle five-piece the Blood Brothers set up on the floor and jumped into "Birth Skin/Death Leather," kicking off an amazing 11 song set. From the first note until the last, the crowd was eating out of the palm of the band's hand, and the Blood Brothers knew it, crowdsurfing and riding on people's shoulders at random points in the set. Material played reached all the way back to their first album "This Adultery Is Ripe," with "Jennifer" and "Mutiny On The Ark Of The Blood Brothers" representing the disc. The rest of the set was split evenly between "Burn, Piano Island, Burn" and "March On Electric Children," with the crowd's response being fairly equal to both.
The only downside to their set is a dumb guy in leather pants and a white wifebeater felt the need to try and pick a fight with a girl who was dancing. A few punches were thrown, and the guy [and his girlfriend, who also started to fight] were ejected from the building, and the show continued without a hitch.
Words really cannot describe how euphoric the Blood Brothers are live. I saw the band a year and a half ago in an even smaller venue, and while they were great then, they are *amazing* now. Their spastic rhythms are as tight as you could ever expect them to be, and every word is spat with such authority and vigor that "sasscore" is the only possible word to describe this band.
Even if you're not a fan of whatever recorded material you've heard by the band, go see the Blood Brothers live. You'll come away reborn.
Birth Skin/Death Leather
Fucking's Greatest Hits
Meet Me At The Waterfront After The Social
Ambulance Vs. Ambulance
New York Slave
The Salesman, Denver Max
Mutiny On The Ark Of The Blood Brothers
Cecilia and the Silhouette Saloon