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Reagan Youth / Mouth Sewn Shut

Reagan Youth / Mouth Sewn Shut: live in Austinlive in Austin (2007)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 4


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

I strolled into Red 7 around 11:00 P.M., missing five of the seven or so opening bands scheduled to play before Reagan Youth. I'm fine with two or three openers, but SEVEN? Come on, people. Unless it's some sort of festival or it's dollar beer night with "Dateline: To Catch a Predator" playing on th.


I strolled into Red 7 around 11:00 P.M., missing five of the seven or so opening bands scheduled to play before Reagan Youth. I'm fine with two or three openers, but SEVEN? Come on, people. Unless it's some sort of festival or it's dollar beer night with "Dateline: To Catch a Predator" playing on the TV above the bar, there's no way any sane person wants to sit in the same smelly dive bar for that long.

Doomsday Hour was the first band I saw. They put out a pretty standard set of metal-influenced hardcore with a fuzzy distorted bass sound that reminded me of Nausea and Behind Enemy Lines, but other than that, there wasn't much to differentiate them from many other similar-sounding bands.

Next up was Mouth Sewn Shut, a hardcore band based out of Boston. They cranked out a decent set of energetic hardcore with lots of heavy riffs, a few breakdowns and a tiny pinch of ska, believe it or not. These guys know how to work a stage and get the crowd involved with sing-alongs and such, so their set was a bit more interesting to watch. I expect that we'll hear more from them in the near future.

As Reagan Youth plugged in and sent the first blast of feedback shrieking through the room, everyone outside put out their cigarettes and started swarming up to the stage. Unlike many other headliners I've seen, RY didn't waste any time getting set up and soundchecked -- they actually moved like they had a purpose. An upside-down American flag with the Reagan Youth logo emblazoned across it was nailed up behind the drum riser, and as founding guitarist Paul Cripple laid down the mellow-sounding opening riff to "It's a Beautiful Day," substitute vocalist Pat Distraction introduced the band and thanked everyone for coming out. By this time, the area in front of the stage was packed tighter than a subway car during rush hour, a giant undulating collage of smelly denim jackets covered in patches and studs. As Pat snarled the first line of the song ("It's a beautiful day....for a BARBECUE!!!"), the crowd erupted into a ballistic, churning frenzy.

From then on, it was mayhem -- the crowd only stopped between songs to untangle their wallet-chains and recover missing studs on the floor. The band sounded tight and focused -- every riff was fast and accurate; every drumbeat rained down with the precision of a military drill team. Without wasting much time on stage banter, the band favored their much-loved staple songs over their later material, though they did play "Jesus Was a Communist" and "What Will the Neighbors Think" in addition to fan favorites like "New Aryans," "USA," "Go Nowhere," "No Class" and "I Hate Hate." As the set winded down, Pat took some time out to honor a "fallen comrade" -- namely, Dave Insurgent. We all knew what was coming, and as the opening riff of "Reagan Youth" came blasting in, it set off a previously untapped reservoir of explosive energy; audience members clambered over each other like crabs in a bucket, hoping to be within shouting range of the microphone for the chorus -- "We are Reagan Youth! Sieg Heil!" The band closed out with "Degenerated," which some of you might recognize from the movie "Airheads," and called it a night. After liberating a flyer from the wall for my collection, I walked out of the club triumphantly, reminded once again of why I love this music so much.

Reagan Youth is among the finest re-united punk bands I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing (compared to the visceral disappointment of Black Flag's "reunion" at the Palladium in 2003), and I highly suggest checking them out if you have the opportunity -- even though gas prices are much higher now than in 1981, Reagan Youth is worth a three-hour drive.

 

 
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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.
DeadMilkMan (September 10, 2007)

I like this Nick_V cat. Intensely sarcastic, kind of like a punk rock Seth Cohen.

Oh, yeah, I watch the OC.

GenericEric (September 5, 2007)

I saw this tour in So Cal because Mouth sewn Shut were on the bill and Reagan Youth are legendary. It was a great energetic set from both bands. I do'nt seem to recall the other bands I sat through.

NotPatriotic (September 5, 2007)

Nick V you are sounding like a dumbass with these "punk rock club" type comments. So what if people really believe in punk rock and follow the fashion, let them do what they want. I may not wear studs/liberty spikes, but talking down/making fun of people who do is pretty dumb.

Nick_V (September 4, 2007)

Feeding:

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I was born too late to experience these "nostalgia bands" in their prime, so the best thing I can do is go to see them in whatever incarnations they have assumed. Admittedly, some are better than others (Yes, I saw the Greg Ginn Black Flag reunion instead of the Rollins Band one, sadly), but I don't feel like I'm necessarily patronizing some ingenuine, duplicitious punk rock ruse by paying ten dollars to hear some of my favorite songs played really loud by most of the people who put them together, rather than sitting at home cursing them for being opportunistic money-grubbing whores. Oh, and I'm so sorry that they couldn't have changed their name to "Postmortem-Reagan Youth" or "Reagan fully-grown-adults with pot bellies who should watch their cholesterol" to earn your respect. Bummer.

Still, you came off like a twat when you told me not to bother showing up if I couldn't be there early and clap politely like a concerned soccer mom for bands that I'm not particularly interested in. I have nothing against opening bands, which I made unambiguously clear in my opening paragraph, but rather than showing up at 7:00 and sitting through five hours of mostly undisciplined noise so as to not hurt anyone's feelings, I'd prefer to grab some Chinese food and browse the used bins at Cheapo's, thus saving my eardrums some unnecessary wear and tear.

Yes, there are some undiscovered treasures out there playing abbreviated sets in front of established headliners, and more power to them, but they're exponentially outnumbered by a glut of cookie-cutter schlock that's been done a million times before and a million times better, and you know it.

My Mom insists on doing my laundry when I visit. It's a Mom thing, I guess. Sometimes I clean out the cat box as a way of saying "thank you".

Nick_V (September 4, 2007)

"...sounds like you didnt even want to be there."

rkl, with all due respect, did you read this passage?

"I walked out of the club triumphantly, reminded once again of why I love this music so much...Reagan Youth is among the finest re-united punk bands I've ever had the pleasure of witnessing..."

If you're picking up on an overall tone of cynicism and disillusionment in my writing, however, I'd say you're spot on. Cheers, mate.

Nick_V (September 4, 2007)

Dr. Death, I still haven't received my membership card for your shitty club, and the official "Dr. Death shitty club of sanctimonious moralistic indignation in matters pertaining to punk rock" t-shirt you sent fell apart after two washings. I guess that's what I get for letting my Mom do my laundry.

So yeah, I'm keeping my five bucks. I hope you understand.

feeeding5000 (September 4, 2007)

"Gosh, I'm SO sorry, sir. I guess I'm not a real punk; not only do I willfully skip a half-dozen opening bands, I also get regular dental check-ups and use silverware at the dinner table. When I visited home last year, my Mom used FABRIC SOFTENER when she did my laundry - what kind of PUNK would want his clothes to feel soft and smell like a crisp maritime breeze? After that, I yelled "FUCK OFF!" at my Mom and kicked over my neighbor's bird bath while screaming "ANARCHY!"

Can I still be a part of your club? Pwetty Pwease?"

Wow, way to fucking misunderstand, asshole. In no way was that a, "I'm so fucking punx and you're not, dude" kind of statement. I'm just saying that unless you know the bands playing, and you are certain that you don't like them, it's worth seeing them. I mean, they're there, playing, working hard to entertain, and you can't even be bothered to give half a shit about them. It just seems arrogant, and, frankly, like you'd rather see a shitty nostalgia act (that doesn't even have it's original lineup!) than pay attention to what could very well be some vital, scene-supporting punk rock bands.
Oh, and you made your mom do your laundry when you went home? Jeez, way to not be responsible.

Phantom_Maggot (September 4, 2007)

I am sort of torn on this whole reunion thing...I get that it isn't the real "Reagan Youth", but for those of us who were too young to really see the band, I can understand wanting to go and hear the songs live. Rocking out to "Reagan Youth" to a live band would be pretty sweet, and as long as people enjoy it, what's the harm? For whatever reason I am ok with Reagan Youth touring and not ok with DK...go figure.

skankin_in_the_pit (September 4, 2007)

I'd be much more excited to see Mouth Sewn Shut than Reagan Youth. Their new album fucking rips.

wallofyouth (September 4, 2007)

i love punknews!

rkl (September 4, 2007)

From then on, it was mayhem -- the crowd only stopped between songs to untangle their wallet-chains and recover missing studs on the floor.
...sounds like you didnt even want to be there.

score's for the review. a little too short for a live show.

drdeath (September 4, 2007)

Dear Nick V,

Thank you for the shitty review of what was probably a pretty bad show. Let the record show that you cannot be a member of my shitty club. You owe me 5 bucks now. Pay up.

DrDeath

Nick_V (September 4, 2007)

"Oh, and don't bother going if you're not gonna give a shit about the openers. Those bands probably had to kill for an opportunity to play before such an obvious draw like Reagan Youth."

Gosh, I'm SO sorry, sir. I guess I'm not a real punk; not only do I willfully skip a half-dozen opening bands, I also get regular dental check-ups and use silverware at the dinner table. When I visited home last year, my Mom used FABRIC SOFTENER when she did my laundry - what kind of PUNK would want his clothes to feel soft and smell like a crisp maritime breeze? After that, I yelled "FUCK OFF!" at my Mom and kicked over my neighbor's bird bath while screaming "ANARCHY!"

Can I still be a part of your club? Pwetty Pwease?

lushj (September 4, 2007)

Yeah, I avoided this tour also, for pretty much the same reasons, even though Mouth Sewn Shut are partially or completely members of Toxic Narcotic & were very good the only time I've seen them.

And yeah, the Rollins/Morris Black Flag "reunion"- billed as The Rollins Band playing Black Flag songs with special guests was incredible. Everything I've read about the Greg Ginn Black Flag "reunion" makes me super-super glad I didn't shell out the $ for the ticket and transportation.

joeg (September 4, 2007)

i'm still not interested in this "reunion" just like i wasn't interested in the germs one last year. the black flag one in 03 was actually damn good. i guess you got the greg ginn one and not the rollins/keith morris one?

feeeding5000 (September 4, 2007)

Reunion for a band with a dead lead singer. Right. You expect me to think this is legit? Couldn't these guys have just given the band a new name (a la "Government Re-Issue), or maybe played RY cover songs in totally different bands? It just sorta makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit.
The whole "New __ (Misfits, DKs, etc)" cash-in trend just upsets me.
Oh, and don't bother going if you're not gonna give a shit about the openers. Those bands probably had to kill for an opportunity to play before such an obvious draw like Reagan Youth.

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