This show suffered at the hands of a late start and competition from Fucked Up, playing the Knitting Factory one borough over. But for a scattershot, decently drawing hardcore show, it wasn't half-bad.
Long Island's Incendiary was just beginning their set upon arrival, stomping their way through their brand of outraged, mid-`90s metallic hardcore -- think Snapcase, Strife, etc. The band sounded a little clunky through the venue's sound system, and there was a bit of a disconnect with them playing on a four-foot high stage to a really sparse and separated group of largely uninvolved attendees. The environment didn't hurt them entirely, though; they generally sounded good and closed with their signature number, "Ad Pondus Omnium."
After returning from some pizza and mediocre mozzarella sticks, the Mongoloids were just finishing up their thing, Cro-Mags meets Sheer Terror meets super mosh. The antics of their tunes had managed to clear out a pretty huge portion of the floor, which made sense but just looked silly when you saw that it was maybe a half-dozen guys going off side to side and front to back. They were better than I'd remembered on previous occasions, but I still really wasn't into it.
For some reason I remember Reclaim the Crown as some third-rate Sick of It All type stuff, but their set here proved my memory is pretty faulty. Basically, it's a bunch of dudes who listen to good hardcore playing pretty bad "hardcore"; if I'd have to give you an idea, this is a vague pigeonhole, but it's somewhere between Ensign and old Poison the Well. No, really. Guttural barks met forced spoken word met all kinds of questionable vocal acrobatics, and lots of awkward melodic/chug parts to boot. Apparently they've changed their name to just Reclaim; maybe they're still trying to figure out just what they're trying to lay claim to.
Due to time restrictions, the Rival Mob played three songs and that was that. They were one of the better openers, as there were really no gimmicks whatsoever to help latch onto their music. But those tunes still weren't impressive enough to be anything more than rather forgettable.
All as One rushed to the stage shortly thereafter for a set of straight-edge hardcore that reminded me of Shutdown, except slower, heavier and, consequently, with more breakdown action. When their Chain of Strength hoodie-clad, 38-year-old singer -- whom is a dead ringer for a late 20s and more subtly bearded Scott Ian -- opened one song with the lines "All my friends do drugs / but I am straight-edge," I could swear they were doing some cover I wasn't picking up on. Turns out it was a new song. They seemed sincere enough, but c'mon, guys.
Have Heart was forced into a mini-set of sorts where they nearly made the most of 19 minutes. I say nearly because perennial set closer "Watch Me Rise" was absent, as was the band's fantastic new jam, "Bostons." You'd think they'd have been testing the latter pretty consistently since its posting on MySpace, especially since they've already unveiled a few new shirt designs revolving around the song's hook. Oh well. There wasn't a single musical hitch, and the compact time allowed Pat Flynn to be as exuberant and playful as possible to a modestly sized, fairly apeshit-going crowd considering the band's usual draw in NYC and on Long Island. In the middle of the set, Flynn received a little booboo, and his glistening sweat just made the minor wound seem all the more intense with blood smearing across the corner of his forehead. He stuck it out though, of course, through songs like set closer "Something More Than Ink" and an earlier played new jam, which blew by the crowd entirely too fast to get a real bearing on; its segue into "Armed with a Mind" was impressive, though.
Set list (10:03-10:22):
- Life Is Hard Enough
- Watch Me Sink
- new song
- Armed with a Mind
- The Unbreakable
- Something More Than Ink