Long Island Fest 2010 took place earlier this month and Punknews.org (well, one of us) was there to experience every mosh part and gruffly melodic bark. We'll be covering all three days with review-centric recaps and today we have Day 1 for you.
Days 2 and 3 are forthcoming.
I missed opener Crooked Mouths scrambling there from work, which was kind of a bummer. I've heard rumblings about their promising, screamy hardcore, so keep an eye out for something possibly awesome to surface from them soon.
The excellent Daylight followed with seven songs of their gruff, emotional post-hardcore (or is it concurrent-hardcore, since a few of these dudes still currently play in CDC and Mother of Mercy?). Their singer, in his own band's shirt, massively shit-talked the Wonder Years in between songs at one point; as much as I actually back TWY's last album, it was hilarious. But also sad because of the kid up front wearing a Wonder Years shirt himself. When the singer wasn't shit-talking, he was muttering awkwardly between songs as he tends to do during their sets. But where the band might be short on words (and maybe candor or any sort of optimism), they're full of emotion--they write seriously enlivened, invigorated and forceful songs full of dynamism and tone variation. They split the set between most of their demo/Sinking EP and threw in a few new ones from their upcoming 7", Dispirit--one has this ridiculous finger-tapping part by their other guitarist and it was great to just watch.
Set list (6:08-6:34):
- new song
- Seeing and Hearing
- You're Not My Father
- new song
- Selfish (new song)
Balance and Composure came next with some of the best tracks off their two most recent releases. Their wrought atmospheres filled the hollow bar and a few more people started to sing along, but it still seems this band is criminally underrated in select areas of the U.S. While the vocals were a little low in the mix for my liking, you could still hear the band's desperation through their searing riffs and cascades of emanating sound.
Set list (7:03-7:29):
- Show Your Face
- I Can't Do This Alone
Local act Bring Out Your Dead has been around for a couple years but were calling it quits with this being their last show. I found their last EP a bit tepid but looked to see how the songs would translate live. Turns out, that's a little bit heavier and more dissonant, though the set only captured my interest fully when they busted out a cover of American Nightmare's "Farewell." They seemed to do it justice, and it seemed appropriate given it would be one of the last songs they'd play live. They also included "Life After Chris Farley" and "The Dirty Casanova & the Cadaver Bride" among others, and another cover--Indecision's "Hallowed Be Thy Name." They had a good merch deal going, too--$10 for one of everything they had.
End of a Year--what can one say that hasn't already been said? Scraggly frontman Patrick Kindlon always goes on highly entertaining and well-read diatribes, and it's not an act--I saw the band play in Brooklyn the night before and the dude didn't repeat himself at all; he had all-original material for an unsuspecting crowd giving the band blank stares and awkward smirks. His banter this night included: a viciously insulting comparison of Long Island culture to that of the Juggalo community; a diss on the sad-sack Mets (who since this show tore off an eight-game winning streak); and answering a request for "Midwest" (from 2006's Sincerely) with a hilariously elaborate rejection. Throughout the 26-minute set of songs (including self-titled 7" opener "Robert E. Howard"), Kindlon gave off his trademark, wild gesticulations while the rest of the band kept up the energy level--save drummer Andy Rice, but the dude's just got a focused, controlled manner on the kit. It certainly wouldn't hurt the band's dynamic for him to stick around and become a permanent member. As a four-piece, with just one guitarist, it actually helps make the band's songs clearer and less distorted. Whatever closer they played was unreal epic, too--I'd wager it'll be on their long-awaited, upcoming third full-length, You Are Beneath Me.
The crowd for Soldiers was one of the tamest (least ignorant?) I've ever seen in front of them. I mean, kids were moving, but not nearly as violently as usual, and frontman Rick Jimenez seemed to notice this. He spit angry mosh calls at every opportunity during the band's 28 minutes, but his level of seriousness is always vague; near-constant shoutouts to friends and Chappelle Show references were just as prevalent. His vocals were also LOUD; I wish every band had been mic'd this well. They played a bunch from End of Days, obviously, including "Own Up!", and two new songs in the same relative vein; Incendiary members made their presence known, as that band's frontman Brendan Garone added guest vocals on one song and (fill-in?) drummer Dan Lomeli actually left his kit to go mosh on the floor in the middle of another, which was beyond funny.
Shai Hulud's a band I've never been huge on but have definitely enjoyed to a certain extent. They're notorious, obviously, for their endless list of lead singers, and their latest is a 19-year-old kid from their home state of Florida; his stage presence and command of the audience, however, is impenetrable, and actually fit for a venue much bigger than the one they were in. He leads the act like a seasoned vet, and it's cool to see him on stage alongside Matt Fox, who must be close to twice his age--two dudes from different generations of hardcore fronting the band with the same enthusiasm and vigor. Musically, the band did seem a little sloppy and rushed--"Venomspreader" started that way for sure, and their cover of Cro-Mags' "World Peace" seemed incredibly fast (granted the song's normally 2:13, anyway). But they did seem solid overall for their 34 minutes, also playing, among others: "A Profound Hatred of Man," "Faithless Is He Who Says Farewell When the Road Darkens," "Set Your Body Ablaze" and "Misanthropy Pure."
I was very, very psyched on seeing Scraps and Heart Attacks for the first time since their demise in mid-2004. Frontman Travis Reilly was hyping this set as him in front of a bunch of drunk dudes, and even though it kinda was, their style was always one personified by their name, anyway: scrappy. Loose, fast and angry as hell, their only full-length, Still Sick has grown on me a bit over the years as I've gotten more familiar and identified with the frustration and lash-outs of its tracks other than just its fantastic closer, "Don't F with S."
Before they played "Save It" (from their Scraps and Heart Attacks EP when they were still called the Heist), Reilly joked it was from their 1982 demo on Dischord; it was an appropriate joke as the track's noticeably punkier and more straightforward than their later stuff. They played just about the entirety of Still Sick plus two covers: Kid Dynamite's "PH Decontrol," which I went ballistic for, and Unbroken's "Absentee Debate," which ex-Invade vocalist Anthony Czerwinski got amped for and basically stole the mic to sing.
But hell, playing their own songs was awesome enough, even though it seemed there were only about 10-15 of us visibly excited to see them and sing and dance along. And it closed a very, very solid Day 1 where the percentage of bands I was looking forward to seeing was at its peak, setting a high bar for the rest of the "weekend."
Set list (rough) (11:21-11:53):
- My Point
- Queen of Prussia
- Next Stop, Harvard Ave.
- This May Suit You
- Do the Math
- Sea Legs
- Scraps and Heart Attacks
- PH Decontrol (Kid Dynamite cover)
- Save It
- Don't Come Back
- Absentee Debate (Unbroken cover)
- Don't F with S