It’s been a warmer than usual winter so far. There have been a couple moments of snow but nothing much sticking around. Meanwhile the semester is underway and the “holiday” many don’t want to deal with is on its way. So, as February 1st reminds us that it really is 2012, I needed to get out for a bit and decided on this show at Cafe Berlin
Gay Uncle first caught my ear at a show a couple weeks back so their appearance on this bill was an added bonus. They started off a little slow this time around, but after the first song the duo quickly veered into a set of guitar and drum forged hardcore that neared powerviolence levels of aggression at times. Loud, fast, and in your face, they value intensity and rawness slightly more than precision (though precision is there, make no mistake about that). WIth songs that go by at breakneck speed, Gay Uncle’s music sometimes seems to go by before you know it. However, there’s something here that makes me curious about them. These guys are on the way to becoming one of Columbia’s best underground bands so check them out if you get the chance.
Dead Icons from Kentucky proceeded to take the night into a completely different direction. This quartet threw down a heavy set of metal tinged HC punk with hoarse vocals and lots of scooped tone guitar leading songs set on pummel. Hard edges crunch and double bass drum rolls connected instantly with the kids in the pit. Their songs are more loud, fast audio missiles that aim to explode on contact. Admittedly some can say that Dead Icons’ music leans a lot on metal but the power is evidence regardless when they take over a stage and lay waste to the crowd. While I’d never heard Dead Icons before I saw the flyer for this show there’s something here that makes me curious what they’ll become down the road.
After a brief break and the usual tear down and setting up, Kills and Thrills came on to play. From the start this band lead a sonic throw down with some modern sounding HC punk delivered with a heft and intensity that surprised me. Seeming to be one part noise/one part punk fury, their music is dealt out in full force with a singer more than willing to dissolve the barrier between band and the sudience, this band playd hard driving music that takes no prisoners and has the ability to head in unexpected directions. While they take a relatively common dual guitar fired format, they approach it in a way that’s shocking yet somehow comfortable in the process. I’ve tried to explain what they’re about but Kills and Thrills are a band that you have to see live to understand.
Finally, it was time for Landlord Holocaust to wrap up the evening. This local quartet plays vintage influenced stripped down punk built firmly in the three chords loud fast rules camp with power chords in full effect and a straight ahead rhythm section. The band is talented but seemed to be slightly misplaced on the bill, having to close the show when they would’ve been better placed earlier on the bill. The band also appeared to be having an off night, though that could be as much due to bill placement than anything else. Yes, they’re talented and wear their vintage punk roots with pride but right now I feel it best to wait and see this band again before i make a judgement.
Then the show was over. Most of us ventured out into the chilly but warmer than usual February night dazed and wondering what’s next. As I headed over to a friend’s house to wish him well on his birthday, I realized how early it turned our (two of the bands had to cancel, shortening the bill significantly). Still, it was a nice way to spend a milder than usual winter night here in Columbia. I wonder what the rest of the month will be like.