This is my second show review for Day After Day DC, after aspiring journalist (and founder of the quixotic punk band the Coits) Seth “FTW” Feinbergoldmanstein asked me to review the show, and promised a hefty sum of $10 for my contribution to his attempt to document the scene.
I arrived late in true punk fashion and found out that I missed the first band, Black Rations. I talked with their singer Brandon Brown later on, and asked him to describe their sound. He called it “just hardcore” and “no frills hardcore.” Sounds cool. Black Rations also features a member and a former member of Coke Bust, DC’s hottest hardcore sensation.
When I went inside, I found a burrito bar that was prepared by Heather Baker and hyped by Nicholas Tape. This was the first time (that I can remember) that there has been free food at a show for audience members rather than only for bands.
This started off the night right, sparing me the trip to Dragon City down the street for dinner. There was also a bunch of free soda, but I had already bought some beer. Next time, get a keg if you really want to go all out for a show.
The first thing I noticed when I went into the basement of the Corpse Fortress was the new paint scheme featuring stenciled skulls over a white background. They also painted over all the graffiti on the back wall. Nicely done.
The first band that I saw was called Hounds of Hate. They were a generic-sounding hardcore band (sorry for the weak description – it’s all I can presently think of) from Braddock, PA. When they started, they emited, “We’re Hounds of Hate – Braddock straight edge!”
Aside: I think it’s odd when bands describe their music by the lifestyle they choose, because that has no real impact on the music. Straight-edge lifestyles are commonly associated with a style of hardcore called “youth crew,” but I think it would make more sense to call your band “youth crew” than “straight-edge hardcore.”
This band wasn’t really youth crew, though, so whatever.
The most entertaining part of their set was some banter about the possibility of a Skrewdriver cover, which unfortunately did not happen. I don’t think I have ever really listened to Skrewdriver so I can’t say whether the much-debated first album (“It’s cool! It’s cool! It was before they were racist, so it’s OK to listen to! Right?”) is any good.
Garybird offered some entertaining heckling that improved the set (“Turn down the PA! I can still hear your vocals!”).
Hounds of Hate: B-.
Next up was Night Fever from Denmark. They played fast hardcore with melodic solos that seemed influenced by ’80s hair metal. All of their songs were one of two tempos: fast, or slightly less fast. Their songs tended to sound the same: It sounded like they were hanging on the same chord in every song and the chord progressions of every song were pretty similar. However, they ended their set with an excellent cover of “Alcohol” by the Boston band Gang Green, which I have not heard covered since my old band did it five years ago. B.
Wasted Time, from Richmond, was the last band. Call me a cynical, jaded asshole (I am), but I’m not as into this band and the whole scene surrounding them as I was three or four years ago.
Wasted Time plays fast hardcore influenced by classic ’80s bands like Poison Idea. They and Government Warning (a band with which they share two members) were instrumental to the “retro ’80s hardcore” revival of 2006-2008, which seems to have slightly fizzled out in 2011 (maybe just my interest in it has). Still, they played a tight set and the crowd in the basement of the Corpse Fortress was into it. Matt Parsons (of Coke Bust/Rations fame) made an oddly-timed “fuck you” announcement near the end of their set to people from Richmond who didn’t pay for the show. Wasted Time: A-.
This show was put together by Mr. Tape of Black Rations and Coke Bust fame, and despite his incessant-to-the-point-of-annoyance promotional tactics, he certainly knows how to put together a good show.
Seen on the scene: Pretty much everyone who is someone was there – too many celebrities to name, the red carpet was full. Hopefully Nicktape and Seth can get Joan Rivers to cover the action next time there is a show at the almighty Corpse Fort.
The question which ends every good show review is: Was Pat Vogel there? Yes.