Written by Karl Bakla.
Rough past two weeks for Rock ‘n’ Roll, we lost Dickie Hammond (Leatherface), Brandon Carlisle (Teenage Bottlerocket), Filthy Animal Phil (Motörhead), & we almost lost Dr. Know (Bad Brains) …so turn their tunes up, the music they gave us lives on!
With that stated I went to see Lagwagon last night, let me correct that I went to see Pears play last night & Lagwagon just happened to be on the line up. This might sound strange but for the past 23 or so years I have gone to several Lagwagon concerts, but never seen them play, maybe they are amazing, I dunno!
Got to the show just as the doors opened & I couldn’t help notice how empty the show was. 20 years ago there would have been a line wrapped around the Huntridge if Lagwagon was playing… shortly after I entered the venue the Pears started their set. There is a lot of hype behind this band & usually that just leads me to disappointment, but not tonight! The Pears did not disappoint, even though the room was cold & empty the Pears brought some much needed energy, it also helped that most of the people up front seemed to know all the words to the songs. If you haven’t check out their album Go To Prison, check it out! The songs sound even better live… Pop Punk, Hardcore, both labels apply! By the way, does the singer of the Pears do yoga? He has some amazing moves and kicks shit up several notches!
Next up was the Runaway Kids and they fucking sucked, I wondered whose filthy butthole they licked to get onto the show. If you like Strung Out, you might like this band. The singer sings & they have hints of 90’s mall Punk. For further proof that this bands sucks, just take a look at their Facebook page (click here), one of their members wears a Limp Bizkit shirt, sure that guy will probably beat me up, but so what. I’d rather get my ass handed to me than listen to Nu-Metal or whatever the fuck you call it.
I would like to take a moment and say fuck this venue! I can’t believe people that are 18 years old that pay full price for a ticket have to stand in a small pen on the side of the venue, while people that are 21+ get to stand right in front of the stage but are expected to pay 24 bucks for a double whiskey… I really felt that we are there to buy drinks and the music really didn’t matter. Now don’t get me mistaken, I know they are running a business and have to make some money, but this place was douchie as hell, the only thing douchier were the guys from Punks In Vegas. I’d like to thank Punks In Vegas for their continued commitment to making Punk Rock safe! I noticed that Punks In Vegas has some shit on New Noise Magazine, fuck that magazine it is lame as fuck. If someone handed me New Noise when I was twelve I probably would have passed over Punk for something else.
Next up were The Briefs. Sure the bulk of the crowd didn’t seem to care, but there were quite a few people up front that were excited that they were playing, especially the guy that looked like Rob Schneider. Sure I am not familiar with the bulk of the Briefs discography but I love their Hit After Hit LP & I was stoked they played Silver Bullet & closed their set with Poor & Weird!
Next up were Lagwagon, but it wouldn’t be a Lagwagon show if I stayed to watch them play, so I left and headed out to Roberto's. It’s funny I don’t hate Lagwagon & I actually like a few of their songs, I just never really cared for the white trash tweeker skateboarder types that seemed attracted to them, sure most of those types don’t go to shows any more, but traditions are traditions!
Written by GE 138.
I had to get out. I had to get away from the computer. Too much Death and Remembrance all over the Interweb had me feeling weirded out and mortal, so with Erika and Bob in tow, I headed off to the Dive to check out a few Local bands that were playing. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make it to the end of the gig, because it looked like a lot of noise overload on the bill tonight, but I just wanted to have some drinks and be around people. Lots of Friends in attendance had me feeling nostalgic and warm and fuzzy all over. Took me a while to get in because I was chit chatting with everyone and catching up with people I haven't seen in a while. The Dive is going through some renovations as of late - new booths, new stage, new sound system, y todo! The kitchen isn't open yet, but they swear that it's really going to open sometime soon. I can't help but laugh as I've heard that from Angie and Nate for years now, but who know? Maybe this time for real? Doesn't matter. The first band was starting to tune up, so I left my comfy seat at the bar to check out what was going on on the stage. It was System Rejex getting ready to play. I was very interested in seeing these guys, because a few of my friends had raved about them recently.
System Rejex played a really fucking impressive set of true 80's Hardcore Punk Rock tunes ala M.D.C. or early Corrosion Of Conformity. I fucking dug them. Apparently they've been around in one form or another since the 1980's, and are now just getting back into gigging around town and tearing shit up. The bass player / lead vocalist (I think) looked like a Satanic Geddy Lee from Rush and played their crazy fast thrashing Punk tunes with his fingers, which is always impressive. Larry B. (from Life's Torment) was on guitar and he was just cranking out these slamming, awesome, feedback laden riffs with the greatest of ease, and he sang a few songs as well. New songs? Old songs? I had no idea. Sounded pretty good though. Everything was shouted / screamed out and sounded really angry. I liked it. I have no idea who the drummer was, but he was working his ass off back behind the drum kit, playing fast as fuck, breathing hard, and I had a blast just watching him bash away on his kit. He was sweating his ass off but looked like he was having fun while playing. System Rejex were really good. Check them out when you get the chance. One of the more promising Local bands I've seen in a while. Welcome back. Good stuff.
I was telling Chris from Unfair Fight beforehand that it's been years since I've seen them play. He laughed in agreement. I don't know how that happened, but I don't like it. I told Erika and Bob beforehand that I was only going to the gig to see System Rejex and Unfair Fight, and I am sooooo glad that I made the effort, because Unfair Fight played one of the most intense, fucking Brutal, in your face Hardcore set of tunes I've ever seen them play before. Ever. And there was hardly anybody there to see it. Of course. The weeks of touring on the road have made them into a sharp, well armed, Punk Rock killing machine, and the new songs they played from their just released self-titled flexi disc sound fucking amazing. I have no idea of what they were called, but they were a great mind fuck. I couldn't even take pictures, because I was just standing there watching it all unfurl in front of me, mesmerized. Holy shit did Unfair Fight sound good. Dan was his usual passionate, animated self, screaming and barking into the microphone while throwing himself all around the stage like a man possessed, and Chris' guitar work is indescribable. I don't know what he's playing up there, what style, what notes, what chords, but it sounds crazy, like the sound of a machine dying. I dunno. I think the last time I saw Unfair Fight play they had Liz on bass, but she's long gone now, replaced by some Scene kid who looks like he's having a ball up there playing along with the band. Derek on the other guitar just stands up there and rocks the fuck out, hammering away, trying to keep up with what Chris is playing, and banging his head. A lot. Pete's drumming has only gotten harder, faster, more intense, more spastic, with flourishes of brilliance sprinkled throughout. He's the heartbeat of the machine. He powers the whole thing. It runs off of his sweat. It's fucking sick. Unfair Fight's music is intense, dark, twisted, metallic, sinister, and unsettling. Unfair Fight are so good it's scary. I stood front and center dumbfounded, watching as they just chewed the musical space up and spit it out in everyone's face, blowing the roof off the Dive with little to no effort, commanding everyone's attention while they played, playing with a contagious intensity that had everyone in the place creeping forward and being drawn in to what they were playing. They were doing soooooooo good, and then they went off track with a cover of Ready To Fight by Negative Approach. It was a great cover, and they even dedicated it to me, but still, when they were in the middle of an amazeballz set of original songs that were just killing it, it just seemed like a waste of time to play a cover, especially considering the strength of their back catalog of songs. Oh well. I was probably the only one who was bothered by it. It is a pet peeve of mine. Meh. Unfair Fight finished up a much too short set to lots of applause and well wishes from the few and the brave and the friends up front. Fucking fantastic. I was seriously stunned stupid at how fucking amazing Unfair Fight just played. Why these guys are not taking the Punk scene here by storm is one of the most fucked up things ever. Ever.
Burned out. No energy left. Sleep sounded good, and I just wanted to leave. I watched a few songs from Stapled Shut, a Hardcore band from L.A. that I'm sure Larry met at one of his many gigs played out there. They had a heavy Power Violence sound and a scary, ex-felon tattoo'd look about them. They were pretty good but I wasn't feeling it. I was hungry and just wanted some pizza and bed, so leaving Bob behind at the bar, Erika and I went off to Joe's New York Pizza for some grub before passing the fuck out. Sometimes it's good just to get away, if even for a little while.
For more Pictures of System Rejex, please click here. For more Pictures of Unfair Fight, please click here.