Sunday, January 13, 2013

And now, an angry old man brings you a Show Review of a show I didn’t even go to… and I’m really going to delve…
I won’t even lie to you and tell you that I wasn’t initially hyped up when I first heard about this. The odd and random news that MEAN SEASON was playing a Miami gig made me  very excited, embarrassingly. Back in the 90’s, I was so into them. I guess what drew me in to them was that they were a bit darker (a lot darker, actually) than the rest of the Straight Edge hit parade of those times, and despite Aaron Kelly’s horrible vocals, they are still one of my record collection’s mainstays. Also, they were among the first true pioneers of that evil/metallic hardcore sound, but with an emotive quality to it. They were always referred to by my divine self as an “Emo SLAYER”, and I think that is a pretty fair descriptive of what they do.
But after finding out that it was part of a festival, as the show date came inching closer, all desire to grace the unworthy Miami Hardcore scene with my unearthly presence and ethereal Luciferian beauty dissipated from my black soul. Why? Because using my Satan given powers of clairvoyance, (and aided by the predictability of geeky Hardcore kids) I foresaw the douchery that would ensue at this 3 day convention for former Hardcore Teen Heart-Throbs facing Mid-Life Crisis. I knew that this festival was a “CALLING ALL CARS” for the scene police. Here’s my prophetic review of a show I never even went to…

STRUNG OUT played the Friday show (I guess), to which I riddle myself this… 
Who would pay money to see Strung Out play? 
It should be the other way around! Strung Out should’ve paid the crowd that stood there (if anyone did) and listened to their very vaginal take on punk rock. Don’t recognize any other name on the Friday night line-up according to the flyer, except for opening local act ASKULTURA. I’m sure they stayed well within the comfort zone of their particularly nauseating brand of hipster friendly Ska music. (Dry-heave

Saturday night, here come the bigger guns now…
Local Straight Edge Icon turned Big-Shot show promoter Mark “Clap and Kick” Pollack tried pulling a hat trick by finding DAMNATION A.D., attempting to yank them out from obscurity for this shindig. They were not really a band that I explored too much in their heyday, but I know that lots of my friends thought they were the bee’s knees back in the day. They were probably the best band on the Saturday card, had they not have cancelled according to one of my many show-biz moles... those fucks. Talk about a lack of professionalism. I can imagine and angry Mark Pollack, floating on his Aqua-Lounger in his swimming pool, screaming “YOU'LL NEVER WORK IN THIS TOWN AGAIN, I’M GOING TO RUN YOU OUT OF THE BUSINESS” into the receiver of his waterproof, cordless Bat- Phone. 
Ah, another special treat was planned for that night that would appeal to all would be (or has-been) Straight Edge aficionados, a spoken word by the biggest asshole PC Thug to ever condescend an MRR subscriber, Dan O’ Mahoney, or as I like to call him, Dan O’ Mojones (like saying cojones, but with an M. It’s Cuban slang that means a shit-log, or a turd).   And now, here he is, on stage in Miami, because someone gave this prick a time-slot and a microphone so he can sit there and pontificate to a bunch of hardcore kids who hang on his every word. You see, that’s always been the thing about the straight edge hardcore scene… If you’re in a successful band, there is never a shortage of groupies willing to blow you on cue, it’s just that unfortunately, all of these groupies are adolescent boys.

' Then, in keeping with the spirit of self-righteous zealotry, CHORUS OF DISAPPROVAL played. I have a question for any hardcore historians reading this… Was there ever a time when CHORUS OF DIAPPROVAL was not a Panko-breaded piece of shit? They fucking sucked! All it takes is two decades time to magically transform shit records into sought after gems! Why is it that in all of the revivalism hysteria of new jacks trying to be “down with the roots”, that even the truly shitty gets regurgitated? CHORUS only selling shtick was the whole “in your face straight edge tough guy” act. Everybody knows the golden rule...
 Militancy Sells Records and T-shirts! 
Then in the spirit of militancy, another cult 90's hardcore band (of local origin) was yanked from their eternal resting place, the marginal (at best) CULTURE
If you ask me, you should have left them wherever the fuck they were at. Original front man and narcissist extraordinaire Damien Moyal joined his fellow militant vegan DEA candidates on stage for a heart-worming reunion. Actually, I don’t think any of those fools are still straight edge. And no, that wasn’t a type-o, by the way. I meant to write heart-worming, not heart-warming as you may have thought. It gives me heart-worms to see that this band got to play once again. And by the way, I have a hard time believing that the singer was a vegan even back in the day. That dude had such a bad case of Pizza face in the 90s that I could have sworn he was moisturizing his skin with butter and bacon grease, and those are not cruelty free products. 

Without a doubt, the worst name for a hardcore band ever! Culture... what the fuck is that?! Nobody cared to tell these nudniks that there was already a very well-known reggae outfit by that name?  And even so, how does that word tie in to their whole bit? It doesn’t. Maybe they should have taken a culture of Damien’s face in the 90s and studied the tissue samples of his mountainous acne. Musically, they don’t fall far from the suck-tree either. They’re mediocre at best, and I for one really don’t understand their mythical scene status. Not hating, just, someone has to be the scene equivalent of Simon Cowell with some brutal honesty. I saw them play their first gig with SNAPCASE when they toured in support of their first LP in the 90s and remember thinking that a) CULTURE kind of really sucks and b) Rich Thurston’s head must have its own gravitational pull. Well, from the looks of my prophetic vision, the guy’s melon is still industrial sized. That thing is probably tied in to the whole 2012/polar axis tilt/doomsday thing. If you look at the crowd shot on the front cover of the classic piece of Miami vinyl, the ‘NOTES FROM THE SOUTH” compilation 7” (on Youth Bus Records, I think), there you will see a picture of a live crowd moshing and diving under the planet Jupiter. No, it’s not the planet Jupiter, actually its Rich Thurston’s ginormous head, keeping all circle pits spinning in his orbit. Look at the size of that thing. His head is so big that his forehead is really a five-head. But asides from being a cephalic juggernaut, now he’s some big scary MMA fighter, which has probably empowered the cowardly lion hidden deep beneath his massive yet useless frame. (Not that I want to be a gossip slut, but for a dude his size too get irreverently KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT by old-school Miami alumnus legend Sapo (of DICK SCROTUM AND THE WEAPONS OF ASS DESTRUCTION fame), I don’t see much of a future for him inside the steel octagon. But I’ve digressed… Even with his high readings on the Douche-O-Meter, Thurston isn’t the biggest cunt-bag in that outfit. That prestigious honor goes to the singer, the insufferable Damien Moyal ( thin crust with everything on top). What a shithead! You want to talk about someone who found some kind of fluke apotheosis via hardcore music and its fans, all of whom are so desperate for a little side of melodrama with their Metal Hammer?
 I don’t either, so we’ll move on.
 I just don’t care for the guy. I never have. Don’t know the guy personally, don’t want to. Don’t care. He may even be a lovely person, who’s to say? But there’s just some people sharing oxygen with us on this planet that you for reasons unbeknownst to you, you just want to stomp into Tomato paste, and for me, he’s one of them. That’s pretty much the bulk of mention-worthy events from the Saturday bill. Sunday night was the big draw. Hopefully, all of the members of bands set to play the following day will not be crushed accidentally by Rich Thurston’s massive head.  Oh yeah, TRIAL played, which I would comment on, except I have no idea who the fuck they are.  The singer looks like he was the oldest looking kid at his Bar Mitzvah, though. What’s with the generic name? TRIAL?! They sound like a Christian Power Metal band.

Sunday night rolls around and a sea of heavily tattooed, not-so-young prospective Republicans in t-shirts that all bear band logos emblazoned on the chest in collegiate font, congregate for the final rite of this pussy-less orgy of temperance and prudence. Good old Clap and Kick (tm) outdid his self in combing through every retirement home and seniors community of south Florida to find some nice rare treats as this evenings early-bird house warmers. And finally, somewhere in Century Village he found POWERHOUSE and The BELIEVERS, battling one another in an all out shuffle-board shootout. The Believers were a local band whose only recorded output might very well be a song or two on the aforementioned compilation on Youth Bus (I think). How they performed without the aid of their walkers, I will never know. 
Old, frail bones depleted of glucosamine rattled under the weight of a geriatric and obese POWERHOUSE line-up, as they tried to perform quintessential youth crew jumps. They are a nice little credit to the unsung pantheon of South Florida Hardcore though. Their sought after 7” record was among the first couple of releases from NEW AGE RECORDS, an important hardcore label in its own right, especially as far as this festivals theme is concerned. BIRD OF ILL OMEN reunited for the fest, and from the Youtube footage, I’d say they were among the better acts that played, they had good energy. Here you have another band with a cult status, largely attributed to their being an early medium of evil/metallic hardcore. And if you give a shit about Eulogy Records (which I don’t), these guys were Eulogy release 001! So, kudos to them for that little credit! MEAN SEASON played later on, and let me just say how appropriate it was that BIRD opened for them. Because having known BIRD master-mind Tom Rankine (alias Rankinestein) for a very long time, I can personally attest that the conception of BIRD in part was largely influenced by a period of Tom constantly jacking his dick to MEAN SEASON’s “Grace” LP (and occasionally fingering his asshole till prostate milking to OVERCAST’s ‘Expectational Delusion’).
MEAN SEASON, all I can say for them is that a recording studio can conceal a multitude of sins. I must thank my instincts to stay blow off the show and stay home loaded on Valium and Mojitos, because I saw the YouTube footage and they kind of sucked a bit, this coming from a huge fan, mind you! Aaron Kelly’s vocals really don’t compliment their sick style, and his stage presence is awkward and uncharismatic. Not to mention (which I'm about to) that he seems a little lite in the loafers if you ask me...
Not that there's anything wrong with that...
I'm just saying...
Up next came SHAI HULUD. Don’t care all that much for them, but I won’t rip them too bad because those dudes really know how to write some epic fucking songs, and they play them very well. I actually own a couple of their records, and though they’re not really my thing, even Stevie Wonder could see that these cats got talent. I think the fact that I’m lukewarm about them has little to do with their actual music and more with their fan constituency, which I would love being able to mow them all down with an AK-47 and then dump unceremoniously into a mass grave. And if SHAI HULUD are as misanthropic a bunch as a few of their song/album titles would suggest, then I’m sure they can empathize with my previous genocidal sentiment. It's just that for some reason, I find a correlation between the fact that all of the front-row dick-pullers at all of their local shows seemed to be the man-by-man role call of my "Must Murder" list. But as for these cats, they are musicians plain and simple, and I respect that. Asides from that, in the few interactions that I’ve had personally with Matt Fox, back
when he was still a Local, I only remember him to be a really nice dude, so I’ll give them a pass. Matt used to work at a record shop back when record shops still existed, and he would always hook up the locals big-time at the cash out... Oh yea, Chad Gilbert was a nice kid too. I remember when he first started going to shows, I think he was about 15, 16, something like that, his breath still smelling like Similac, just barely big enough to carry the weight of his JNCO jeans and his Panthers Hockey Jersey (so quintessential). Chad was their second front man, replacing none other than the aforementioned piece of sewage-work named Damien “Extra Anchovies” Moyal on throat duty. Chad went on to play guitar for NEW FOUND GLORY, the biggest suck-fest since Friday nights in the Clinton era oval office. The few times that I briefly stumbled across their music, I felt my testosterone levels plummet by more than half. But SHAI HULUD is a whole different animal, and again, those two cats are good people.

Oh, and by the way, if you have ever wondered what the fuck a SHAI HULUD is…
The Shai Hulud are those huge uncircumcised sandworms from the 80s film cult classic DUNE. Considered to be God, or damn near close, their excrement when mixed with water became ‘The Spice Melange’, an addictive geriatric drug that extended life, gave heightened awareness and prescience, and allowed for the user to bend time and space. Funny thing… Despite being temperate straight edgers, I’m sure that many of the musicians on hand that night could have benefited from Spice Melange. Simply because it extends lives nearing their last flip through a calendar. And as for allowing space travel, I’m sure that most of these said musicians would love to time travel back to when they were relevant again
The sandworms would pop out of the desert sands and devour anything in sight, including mining equipment used to extract their psychedelic Ca-Ca. Their attacks were provoked by the rhythmic thumping of the mining equipment on their planet’s surface. It kind of makes me wish that the band’s music would have invoked their voracious phallic namesake to come and swallow the crowd on hand, or at the very least, they could have burrowed in a couple of not so unreceptive rectums.
Last, and definitely least, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, which suck so bad that I can only hope that Rich Thurston’s boulder-skull crushed them all during their set. This band is fronted by that ass-bag that sang in ENDPOINT. Enough said. ENDPOINT was one of the worst hardcore bands of the 90s, as well as being a front runner in the race to reach the peak of Mount Politically Correct. Fuck BY THE GRACE OF GOD! Their whole shtick was based on the premise that “Punk has lost its way, it’s getting too commercial”, ironically using dollar signs in their band logo to emphasize this creed. Meanwhile, they hypocritically released their records through VICTORY RECORDS, which almost single handedly destroyed hardcore through hyper-capitalism and marketing, marketing, marketing! Good job dick!

Props and shout-outs to Brent from Kentucky’s DIRT MERCHANT Zine, whom in the 90s would stand in the front row during ENDPOINT shows, eating a bucket of the Colonel’s Original Recipe Chicken while screaming “MURDER TASTES SO GOOD!” That’s great! I’m surprised that no hardline sleeper cells in Kentucky attempted on Brent’s life for his sacrilegious consumption of Foghorn Leghorn’s wayward children.
Well, that’s it. That’s all the material I got on this douche-fest. Hey Mark, don’t do it again, OK? Cut it out, thanks!

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