Finally, here's the last and admittedly belated installment of our coverage of last month's Long Island Fest 2010.
It was a great time and next year could be even better.
I arrived just as locals Fumblerooski were in the midst of their set. Playing a typical spate of hardcore-influenced pop-punk à la Daggermouth (a comparison the band is hard-pressed to accept). A couple songs got big reactions, but especially when they pulled over Shai Hulud's singer to front the band for a cover of Gorilla Biscuits' "Things We Say."
The next set was just thoroughly confusing. Barnaby Jones played a split set with…basically themselves, I think? If I have this right, half the set the band played with one particular singer--it was the lineup of their new band, since Barnaby Jones is breaking up. The other half-set was Barnaby Jones songs, but with a different singer than the one they normally have. Confused? So was I. But that didn't prevent me from enjoying covers of American Nightmare's "There's a Black Hole in the Shadow of the Pru" and the Fad's "Kill Punk Rock Stars" (even though I'm pretty sure that was the actual singer of the Fad doing the latter). And others, too, with those getting the most response from the more observant than participatory audience.
Dead End Path, Suburban Scum and Fire & Ice were indicative of my above complaints. But DEP had a cool percussive fill on their last song, and I recall Fire & Ice having a little extra mid-era Cro-Mags groove and edge to their songs.
I was never too into the Banner despite catching them a few times at American Legion Hall shows in the early-to-mid-2000s. Their audience seemed to be a mix of more mallcore-oriented fans and younger hardcore kids (and a few older ones), which seemed interesting. Their set here--it was alright. They performed those older songs without too many hitches, while their singer had an incredibly shrill scream, more so than I remember them doing all through their horror punk/hardcore-influenced days. There was also some terrible static during his in-between-song banter, as if he was talking to us via satellite…from a rainstorm.
Before Iron Chic was Naysayer--a back-to-back offering testament to the diversity apparent even among a heavier day like this one. Naysayer went over well as fully expected, despite the fact they're a pretty new band. But I wasn't sure how well Iron Chic would go over, since they seem to represent some of the few crossover acts on LI between the bar punk scene and dominant VFW hardcore set. But their reaction was great, and heartwarming to watch kids pile on top of each other in a close circle by the front of the stage. The band played a fluid mix of songs off their demo and 7" and sounded solid as always, playing their modest mix of emotion and gruffness and '90s punk influence.
Set list (6:30-6:47):
- (I Never Get) Winded
- In One Ear
- The World's Greatest Detective (???)
- new song
Cipher's definitely a band that bypassed me through the years for whatever reason. So this was my first time seeing them, and despite some spiraling metallic hardcore tones in the Shai Hulud vein, I couldn't get into them fully; they did seem like genuine guys playing what they loved, though, with the singer getting on the floor to meet the eye level of fans and those singing along. Bracewar followed quickly, and sounded a lot heavier and thicker than I recall them being--slower than the powerviolence-esque romps on their debut. I honestly fell asleep for a bit, but that isn't necessarily a knock against the band; it'd been a long weekend and it was getting harder to be roped in my something.
Down to Nothing, though--that'll do it. With frontman David Wood busy putting time into Terror, the band's performances have been few and far between in recent years, so I was pretty enthused to see them play for the first time since February 2008 (they'd played this very venue pretty recently, but it fell on the same day as an Inside reunion show). They played a few of the "hits" alongside select cuts from their new 7" and last full-length, 2007's The Most, and sounded great all through--crunchy guitars and unlimited energy. The crowd was stoked and relatively non-violent considering.
Set list (8:12-8:32):
- Along for the Ride
- I Can't Believe My Eyes
- Conquer the World
- One Eighty (?)
- My Disguise
- Smash It
- Home Sweet Home
Maximum Penalty was the eldest band playing this particular day--the whole fest, really--but received one of the slimmer reactions. Maybe everyone was just a little less willing to check out a slightly more obscure hardcore forefather with it being so late in the fest. Who was there to see the band seemed elated enough, though.
This Is Hell was one of the more "veteran" LIHC acts playing the entire fest, but also played to a quieter climate. Guitarist Rick Jimenez laid out his honest perception of how his band was viewed on Long Island, saying how it seems there have been times it was cool and not cool to like This Is Hell. It definitely set an uncomfortable air upon things, but the band still ripped through their songs regardless of what reaction they got. They played a couple off their new album, Weight of the World, and surprisingly even threw in three from their wonderful self-titled EP.
Set list (9:36-10:02):
- No One Leaves Unscathed
- Prelude (Again)
- Dead Salutes
- new song?
- Moving Targets
- The Search
- new song
The crowd was relentless for Backtrack's 23 minutes and their scrappy, choppy brand of late '80s NYHC. Like Iron Chic, they relied upon their only releases--demo and 7"--to feed the crowd's hunger. Groovy interlude "Welcome to the Pound," "Deal with the Devil," "Paused Progress" and "Standing on Two Feet"--probably a few others as well. It was playful, but intense. "Move up and punch me in the fucking face," their singer said at one point. "I'm serious."
Capital. Awesome. As usual. They somehow stuffed 10 songs of their awesome melodic hardcore into a tidy 20 minutes. While frontman Tommy Corrigan has some of the best and funniest stage banter around, he cut the shit and went with the less talk/more rock approach. They played songs off all three full-lengths (that third one coming eventually, hopefully) and their signature Descendents cover and ducked out.
Set list (10:56-11:16):
- On a Mission
- Live Dammit Live
- Dead Children
- Mosh Parts
- Descendents cover
- new song
- new song
- 250 32nd
- Emergency Broadcast
Subterfuge was playing their first set on Long Island in quite a few years, having broken up some time in the early 2000s and maybe doing one reunion after that I believe. This is a band a little bit before my time so you'll have to excuse my total lack of recognizing songs from their assorted releases (at least three EPs, a full-length, and a covers album). Their set was full of corrosive, heavy hardcore that got plenty of older folk moving if they weren't already, with some coming up to steal the mic for song parts here and there. But there were also some nagging technical issues here and there: a busted cable; a broken string. It really killed any sort of flow or momentum the band was maybe trying to build, but as patchy as the set was it got kids psyched enough.
Trapped Under Ice closed the day, but I actually left early--it was already well past midnight and had been an exhausting three days. Though the band's not my thing, they've got no shortage of positive coverage on this very site, so hopefully they don't feel too jipped.