Channel 3/Capitle/Aggressive Response - Live in Albany (Cover Artwork)

Channel 3 / Capitle / Aggressive Response

Live in Albany (2015)

live show

About five years had passed since Southern California's Channel 3 (CH3) made it out to the northeast and why they pick cold months to travel to this party of the country is unknown. CH3 released their earliest material and arguably their best know material on the Posh Boy Records label in the early 80's and while they had quite a bit of notoriety and have influenced quite a few bands, immediate name recognition has criminally eluded them, which is too bad. They survived the odd late 80's period where punk and hardcore got confused and some can say downright ugly (T.S.O.L. with no original/founding members still playing as T.S.O.L., Bad Religion "Into the Unknown", Youth Brigade becoming The Brigade and 7 Seconds signing to Restless to name a handful), went on hiatus and would get together every so often to play a gig for fun. After getting back together full time on the shy side of 20 years, the songwriting of founding members Mike Magrann and Kimm Gardener, bassist Anthony Thompson and (newly departed drummer) Alf Silva, has remained strong as the band refuses to mellow with age. Channel 3 weren't afraid to bring some melody and catchy songwriting to early hardcore punk and as hardcore has been forever mutating, their song writing hasn't and thankfully so because they still have what it takes to write great songs.

Most of their set was comprised of material from their Posh Boy releases including the crowd favorites "I've Got A Gun", "Mannequin" and "You Make Me Feel Cheap". It's unfortunate they didn't have anyone willing to sing the female part on "Cheap" because after seeing them live Maria Montoya in California so many times, it was strange to see them without her. They also threw in a new song at which sounded right at home with the classics. The band also played some of their songs at breakneck speed including "Manzanar" and the previously mentioned "Mannequin", as old as they are (and claim to be!), Channel 3 shows no signs of stopping and are still having fun many years later. Their set clocked in at just about 40 minutes and was definitely one not to have missed!

Part of what makes the early punk and hardcore bands so interesting and unique as so many were doing their own thing all under the umbrella of punk, but so few actually sounded similar. Albany's Capitle had performed with Channel 3 way back in 1983 and they were back tonight or a repeat performance. Capitle has been playing around every so often lately, but this was certainly a great opportunity to see two bands back to back, from the same era, who sounded nothing at all like each other. To me, that's why many of those early bands are so interesting. Capitle had some great songs that were in your face, weird and played with such intensity it's hard to think they're as old as they are. Another success for the old guys!

The three support bands were also in fine form and it's refreshing to have a show that not only have five bands on it, but five bands on it who are actually good! Teenage Shred kicked off the night with their Ramones/The Boys/Teenage Head hybrid of pop-punk which got things moving in fashion only to be followed by the ear-splitting assault of Scuzz who made a lot of noise for a 4-piece. I've seen some of the members in other bands with Scuzz being the one I like the best. Aggressive Response have gotten better and better each time I've seen them and tonight it was their strongest set to date. The band are preparing to release an album and here's hoping that it captures the intensity of their live set.

This was a great night music at The Low Beat with quite of bit of age diversity in the crowd and on the stage, which is always nice to see. Punk rock isn't going to die, but it's been aging, sometimes gracefully and sometimes not. Tonight it was but it was also making quite a bit of noise at the same time.