July 7th, 2009 — Triac, Juicetyme!, Stymie, Backslider

This show was scheduled to start at 7, but it didn’t start until almost 9:30, which was awesome for me because I was late getting there from practice with The (Jazz) Coits. This show had some scheduling drama — originally Mo’s new band (Mo is well-known for his work with A Warm Gun) MDXGC was going to play, but had to drop off at the last minute, as did Strains of the Apocalypse. To replace them, Nolan got Ilsa to play the show, but then Ilsa had to cancel too because their frontman left the country for most of July.

***

First up was Backslider from Philadelphia — extremely punctual, concise, 2-man grind/power-violence (guitar/drums). The guitar and drums both played extremely tight, and the sound was nice and heavy given the small size of the outfit. The songs were brief, grind-length stuff; i.e. some were about 15 seconds and a couple of riffs long (just like Mozart’s unfinished symphony, amirite?). Often they were introduced with the track titles and a brief, sometimes sharp or spiteful, explanation. Backslider played a way short set, but their stuff was very precise and worked out.

Next up was Juicetyme! Juicetyme is some solid grind-violence, with exciting drumming courtesy of Mauricio. Most of Juicetyme lives in DC, but some members live in Richmond, VA, making local shows a little less frequent. Their set was very similar to the one I saw at the Coke Bust release show in DC a month back, except the acoustics of the Corpse Fort gave the songs a different sound. Moshing at this show was fairly light, so I didn’t get mauled horribly by the usual crowd rowdiness encountered when witnessing one of Nolan’s music projects. I say that like it’s a bad thing, but just between you and me — sometimes I secretly enjoy being rough-housed by the mosh pit because it makes me feel tougher for a little while (kind of like nabbing the star in Super Mario Bros.).

I couldn’t hear the vocals very well in Juicetyme’s mix this time around, but in general they are some more straight-forward hardcore shouts, to me giving the music a more defined hardcore genre slant. The highlights in this band are the sharp, muscular power-chord-driven guitar riffage doubled with the bass guitar, the solid drumming and emphatic fills, and the heavy-ass, brutal, slow breakdowns. For any nerds who care — the guitar was a Jackson Soloist going through a VTM120 — classic heavy crunch!

I missed a lot of Stymie’s set while getting food. But I was digging what I saw, straightforward catchy punk. Apparently these dudes are from Texas and added the tour at the last minute, since it wasn’t on their website. I thought it was a good addition to round out the evening, since I love shows that have diverse acts that take influence from similar genres.

Get ready now, because I’m going to talk (write?) about Triac for way too long. Triac is maybe the heaviest band I’ve seen, and definitely one of the best bands in the DC/MD/VA area. I’d rank them even higher than that, but I don’t want to scare other bands away from playing with them. But really, it’s a good thing Triac played last, because they were so fucking heavy it would be impossible to follow them up with any amount of dignity or courage. I’ve mentioned that Ilsa is probably the heaviest band in DC, with two guitarists tuning down to B playing through some righteous tube guitar heads. But Triac trumps all, and is some of the most seriously heavy, tightly performed grind you will see or hear. And it’s because these guys are seasoned pros who know what they’re doing, performance-wise. While other bands are heavy, Triac has their instrument tones and tight technical performance down in a way only really professional bands have achieved.

Kevin, their current guitarist, has a totally ridiculous guitar rig; dude tunes a vintage Gibson Les Paul down to B, splits his signal simultaneously through a Peavey VTM120 head and some kind of Ampeg, without any additional effects except a whole ‘lotta gain. To top it off, he was playing it all through two 4×12 cabs. I was wearing ear-plugs throughout the whole show, and standing back and center to the band — and my ears were still all sorts of mangled by the time the set was through. I cried to him about it after the set, but he didn’t even pretend to care, because he is a ruthless ubermensch (nah, Kevin’s actually real nice!).

The bass tone was straight venomous — wickedly raw and dirty, and the range of breakdowns with the bass leading the song were really good dynamically. I would’ve liked to talk to the bassist more about the slick, gravelly tone he was summoning from his rig — it was really impressive. I overheard the guys from Ilsa remarking about this same point a little later in the evening.

Triac’s drummer Jake is a monster (one of the best drummers on the east coast?). Early in the set his new double-bassdrum pedal broke, and he played the rest of the show with just one bassdrum pedal. The blastbeats in these songs are ridiculously fast (seriously, are these like 180+ BPM blastbeats??), and the guy looks really comfortable and relaxed, like the songs could get even FASTER. If this band had strobe-lights going while playing, people would be puking violently everywhere (I suggest Triac invest in strobe).

Anyway, enough Triac pole-smoking. The crowd was pretty laid-back, not too bad for a Tuesday night show.
About 20-30 folks who weren’t playing in bands that night were present, so hopefully the bands got at least some cash. The turnout was a regular DC scene red-carpet round-up! On site were Brendan and Garrett (Ilsa), B-Lamb and Brad (Deathratz, Lost Again), Stephan (Revolta), Tim (Brainlaserz), Avi (Magrudergrind), Daniel (Deathammer), and some others I’m forgetting. The weather was really pleasant, there weren’t any
arguments, drama, fights, or stupid shenanigans — which might be a downer for some people, who knows.

It was a good night. I was glad I went. I was particularly pleased with Triac’s set, people chilled after the show, I met some cool cats, Nolan had a fly new haircut, and peace and prosperity temporarily spread throughout the District of Columbia.
CRM

******

Band websites:

Triac (http://www.myspace.com/triac)
Juicetyme! (http://www.myspace.com/juicetyme)
Stymie (http://www.myspace.com/stymietx)
Backslider (http://www.myspace.com/bsfastcore)

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