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The Explosion / Throw Rag / the Loved Ones

The Explosion/Throw Rag/the Loved Ones: live in Chicagolive in Chicago (2005)
Tarantulas Records

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: jamespastepunkjamespastepunk
(others by this writer | submit your own)

For those wishing for a respite from the "pretty" punk shows, this tour was perfect. All the groups involved had lots more substance than style, and more fun than a group of drunken sailors the night after they returned from sea. What about the music? Shush. I'm trying to foist my narrowminded vi.


For those wishing for a respite from the "pretty" punk shows, this tour was perfect. All the groups involved had lots more substance than style, and more fun than a group of drunken sailors the night after they returned from sea.

What about the music? Shush. I'm trying to foist my narrowminded view on you, the reader.

First up, and who I can only assume was a local opener, the Matics ripped into about 7 songs, announcing: "Usually we have 5 shots in between songs, but we'll do that later." If you're wondering whether that sounds just a tad like Dillinger Four, that's why I wrote it, because the Matics sound like a cross between Dillinger Four and Hot Water Music. Lots of gravelly vocals and heavy guitars, cemented by a solid rhythm section. Definitely worth checking out. (Thanks Bill, you were right.)

At the Bottom Lounge, things seem to be getting better. For the first time I can remember, they have a working light system, and have played wonderful music between bands (included were Descendents' "I'm Not A Loser," Hot Water Music's "Trusty Chords" and Lifetime's "Young, Loud And Scotty"), so perhaps that's where the $2 surcharge is going on the $10 tickets.

Anywho, the Loved Ones made their second Chicago appearance, the first being an in-store at the Virgin Megastore 4 hours previously. As could be expected from their previous groups, their live show was excellent and highly addictive. No one seemed to be getting into it, though. Then again, I've seen more crowded condemned 200-year-old Victorian villas than the Bottom Lounge that night. Sure, I and a couple other people knew the words, and for that, I enjoyed the set and it seems so did the rest of the docile crowd. TLO return with Tsunami Bomb, and that sounds like a tour that's more TLO's speed, so if you're interested, I'd suggest that tour.

Throw Rag were fucking bizarre. Before I get to their onstage antics, I have to be honest; the music was great. Absolutely wonderful. Fast, dirty, sleazy stuff which never strayed too far from street punk. To that formula, they brought what could only be the evil version of Avail's Beau Beau. He played spoons, mandolin, trumpet, whatever the song called for, and occasionally added backing vocals. While their energy was not boundless, their set seemed to take a life of its own, and everyone in the venue smiled and went along with it.

Of course, whether the smile was out of confusion or enjoyment, you couldn't tell. The singer started out in a sailor's cap and a suit and pants, but by the end of the set, he was down to his underwear, shoving his crotch in the faces of the girls up front. His voice betrayed either insanity, a speed addiction, or a carefully rehearsed and calculated stage presence. Further than that, the group's get-up seemed to be there for the sole purpose of convincing the audience that these guys were as cuddly as a rabid wolverine and as sleazy as a cheap motel. Something tells me Johnny Rotten would be proud.

That said, that sort of street punk thing isn't my cup of tea, so if you are familiar with this stuff, and think I've got this group pegged wrong, do tell me.

I expected the Explosion to draw a bigger crowd, but this was not the case. Rising punk rock band gaining fans on a global scale, my ass. At the height of the performance, there were 75 people there, and that's a generous estimate. This is Chicago, on a Friday night, near to public transportation. Be it an anomaly or something else, the Explosion persevered and the assembled crew of punx, indie kids, hipsters, and locals here for the Matics got together and sang along for nearly an hour to old favorites like "God Bless The S.O.S.," "Terrorist," "E.X.P.L.O.S.I.O.N." and "Sick Of Modern Art" as well as Black Tape material "No Revolution," "Here I Am" (which sounds worlds better than the recorded version), "Atrocity," "I Know," and old as hell material "Seeing Red" (yes, that was a Minor Threat cover, and that made me shit my pants).

For those wondering if a major label dulled the Explosion's edge, I can't say. Sure, I saw them in 2003 with AFI and the Blood Brothers, but I didn't understand the genre well enough then. I can, however, tell you that the Explosion kicked major ass this time around. As stated previously, tracks from Black Tape gelled well with older stuff, and the new material seemed somehow more catchy than previous "efforts." Million Dollar Matt, Damien and the boys romped through the set with indefatigable energy, even asking the audience for suggestions as to where to drink after the show.

The night was one of raucous fun, hanging out with friends and generally enjoying the company of a limited number of people, all screaming along with you.

The press release up on pastepunk sums up the tour perfectly:

So, we…I asked them [The Explosion] who they want to have come as support for this April/May tour, they replied with Throw Rag & the Loved Ones. Instead of picking the new, hip, cool, shitty band on whatever cool, hip, crappy label, they wanted to accomplish one thing: have the most fun possible."
If a night of fun, honest, punk rock was the aim, then the tour succeeded on a grand scale. Highly recommended.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Crookedsuperhero (May 13, 2005)

Pot Commited is fast becoming my favourite song by them.

jamespastepunk (May 11, 2005)

i saw the bane tour when it came thru minneapolis and was also extremley unimpressed with silent drive. the singer was telling really lame jokes about britney spears or good charlotte or whatever. then he kept making hand gestures of fingerbangin chicks. uhh sweet?

There was none of that at the Chicago performance. Weird.

Anonymous (May 11, 2005)

I missed the Bane/CBK/With Honor show, but I am going to the CBK/Terror/MLIW show in 2 weeks.

recordings (May 10, 2005)

i saw the bane tour when it came thru minneapolis and was also extremley unimpressed with silent drive. the singer was telling really lame jokes about britney spears or good charlotte or whatever. then he kept making hand gestures of fingerbangin chicks. uhh sweet?

Anonymous (May 10, 2005)

I guess? It wasn't the crowd. The crowd was waiting to be rocked, and they got emo... Not good emo, like Envy or old HWM... Really baaaad emo, it's an obvious cashgrab side project.

-BSD

jamespastepunk (May 10, 2005)

Except Silent Drive were so bad I heckled them.

You and I saw different shows. Silent Drive would have torn the roof off the place if the crowd hadn't been victory moshxcorexcretins.

It's irrelevant to me how much Aaron wears Atticus clothing.

Anonymous (May 10, 2005)

I wouldn't call Throwrag street punk....I don't think I would even call them punk at all. They are just great rock n roll.

Anonymous (May 10, 2005)

"Tour of the year is Bane/Comeback Kid/With Honor/Silent Drive."

Except Silent Drive were so bad I heckled them. Bane was awesome, but I don't care for how their guitarist is completely funded by Atticus. Not one bit.

-BSD

jamespastepunk (May 10, 2005)

Oh, I know. I'm actually interning at Suburban Home right now, and they've got a advance copy.

It's competely sick, in my opinion, but it's Bane, so that's expected.

Crookedsuperhero (May 10, 2005)

The new Bane is very, very good.

jamespastepunk (May 10, 2005)

Tour of the year is Bane/Comeback Kid/With Honor/Silent Drive.

This tour, while good, doesn't even come close.

SkolarX (May 10, 2005)

throw rag was amazing in detroit as always, putting a lot more into thier set than they did last month with queens of the stone age. the loved ones killed it as well, though outside of me and my firends there wasn't a whole lot of people standing anywhere near the stage, and i'll admit we were a few feet back. chalk that one up to being old and knowing that bands sound better if there is a little distance between you and the stage. the explosion just hasn't done it for me since the first time i saw them, opening for rocket from the crypt like maybe 5 or 6 years ago. we left 2 songs into their set to go catch bang bang at another venue. pity there was only about 150 people at the show though. it would have been great if the loved ones had played in front of more people.

Anonymous (May 10, 2005)

I paid fucking, 120$ to see explosion two nights in a row (opening up for good charlotte) and that was the biggest fucking mistake ever. I've been a fan for 5 years, but seriously, what the fuck are they doing now? It's like they don't even exist anymore. I don't know what's up with the bassist either, but how disgusting is it that he constantly made out with 14 year old while "mingling the crowd" during good charlotte? Fuck the explosion.

Anonymous (May 10, 2005)

Tour of the year so far.

Throw Rag ruled.

- Kirby

corpseofmymotivation (May 10, 2005)

Yep, that's what I said. They're set to be huge. Not exactly my cup of tea, but they're talented, and they'd be better than most of the other shit in the mainstream these days.

Anonymous (May 10, 2005)

I see the Loved Ones either doing one more Jade Tree release or jumping straight to Island. They're a good band, but they still need to develop their sound a little, so I hope it's the former.

MarkieStabone (May 10, 2005)

no revolution was re-recorded for black tape. the orginial version is vastly superior.

Anonymous (May 10, 2005)

"All the groups involved had lots more substance than style"

Even Throw Rag? Really?

recordings (May 10, 2005)

i saw the explosion several years back with one man army and it was easily one of the best shows ive ever been to.

since then i have seen them with AFI and most recently with social d. and yea, you could say the crowd has diminished. i think 15 people were paying attnetion at most. but you cant hate the band for it, they still kill it when they perform.

TheOneTrueBill (May 10, 2005)

And yeah, the Matics are from the south west side. It's really cool to know that they're from the same neighborhood that I've lived in my whole life. I talked to the singer, who I believe is named Jim. Really nice guy, very appreciative. I can definitly see them getting a lot bigger soon.

Ollywood (May 10, 2005)

Score is for throwrag for putting on the most entertaining show Ive seen this decade.

-Oli

TheOneTrueBill (May 10, 2005)

Yeah, it was a fucking awesome show. I wish the Matics would've had longer to play, but they were still awesome. Throw Rag... holy crap. The new songs they played were really fast and awesome. I snagged the Explosion's set list

No Revolution
Deliver Us
Points West
I Know
God Bless the SOS
Here I Am
If You Don't Know
Atrocity
Filthy Insane
Sick of Modern Art
The Ideal
We All Fall Down
These Times
Seeing Red
Tarantulas Attack!

Encore:
E.X.P.L.O.S.I.O.N.
Out Tonight
Terrorist

corpseofmymotivation (May 10, 2005)

"So, we…I asked them [The Explosion] who they want to have come as support for this April/May tour, they replied with Throw Rag & the Loved Ones. Instead of picking the new, hip, cool, shitty band on whatever cool, hip, crappy label, they wanted to accomplish one thing: have the most fun possible."
...so The Loved Ones aren't the new hip, cool band? Granted, they're not shitty, but everyone around here is going crazy for them.

joeg (May 10, 2005)

explosion always put out a great live show.

Anonymous (May 10, 2005)

I never got into Black Tape too much, but I'm sure the older stuff sounded phenomenal live. Also, wasn't "no revolution" on Flash Flash Flash??

corpseofmymotivation (May 10, 2005)

I have a feeling The Loved Ones are going to go mainstream with either their next album, or the one after that. I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way, but I can just see it coming.

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