Sunday July 10, 2011. Summertime in Columbia has reached the roughly halfway point. The town is in a quieter mode in some ways, but this also means that the quest to fid something to do can affect you in strange way. It’s on this quiet Sunday night that a punk show at Café Berlin seemed to be something interesting to do.
Up first was local teen hardcore band The Phaggs. They revel in short fast loud songs with overloaded guitars and screamed vocals that almost seem to end before they begin. I admit in the past I have been a little guarded towards this band (especially given their penchant on occasion towards shock for shock’s sake on some songs in the past) but at this show they managed to show how solid they’ve become. It will be interesting to see what happens if this band sticks around or not (given their age, anything can be possible on this count).
In a twist of the fate the out of town band (who would normally be on last) ended up holding down the middle slot of this bill. Oklahoma City based trio GRG play grindcore, an extremely loud and fast subgenre of punk and metal built on scooped death tone guitar chords and blast beats that make the loud fast punk of 25 years ago seem midtempo in comparison. Crunchy and in your face, the band’s songs are sometimes aural attacks that seem to hit like a kick in the chest. I know grindcore is a love or hate subgenre but people curious about how extreme rock music can really become should check GRG out.
This leaves Columbia’s very own Task Force to headline the night. Over the past year and a half the bands blend of HC punk with elements of funk, noise and even pop took advantage of the situation and proved to be a sonic compliment to the grindcore of the previous band. Walkinga fine line between melody, punk angst, funk, and noise, the band’s songs are measures in what the DIY ethic is and how it can improve the music. While it was a little sloppy on occasion, Task Force showed once again why they’re one of the best punk bands in this town.
At about 11:30 or so it was over and we were heading back out into the heat. Summer was still more than everpresent amidst the small talk and learning of new shows coming up. Still, it was good to get to see what’s going on and catch a break from the heat and the routine,