by GE 138
I think this was the second installment of this record swap meet thing, and since things had gone so bad with my Frisco trip, I decided I would head down to check it out and see some bands and to clear my head. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday, right? So, after the Guilty By Association gig @ Naked City Cycles (Click here to see the Pictures of that), I headed back to my house to self medicate. A lot. My back was killing me from standing around the parking lot watching the bands at Naked City, so I needed to brace myself for some more hours doing the exact same thing in a different place. Bob gave me a call and so I headed over to the Rebel gas station by my house to pick him up. He was looking like some Suicidal Tendencies veterano muy loco looking vato, but I picked him up anyways. The gig had started an hour ago, so we raced downtown as fast as the speed limit would allow us (yeah right) and after spending a little chunk of time driving around looking for a place to park, we finally found some parking in the Artifice lot. We locked up and hobbled over to the Arts Factory, where we could hear Internal Corrosion already playing, which meant we had missed out on seeing the Bitters. Fuuuuuuuuuuck. Sorry about that Jeff.
Internal Corrosion were already tearing shit up by the time Bob and I got inside the Arts Factory, in front of a crowd of Punks, Scenesters, Metal Heads, Cute Girls, Thrashers and a few elementary school kids all milling about in front of the stage area, with a few people just losing their shit while the band played on oblivious to it all. These guys were just raging on some old school Metal shit ala Show No Mercy era Slayer or Kill 'Em All style Metallica, and seemed to be totally into the music they were playing. It might of been because they were under the influence of something I'm assuming to be weed, because of the huge weed leafs that were on the kick drums, but I could be wrong. It doesn't matter. These guys were fucking shit up and I was digging it. Their enthusiasm was contagious. They were head banging and so was everyone else. Their Love of the Music was easily apparent. Every guy in the band was just thrashing away like Hessians on their instruments, and the crowd was getting more and more into it the longer they played. We must of gotten there midway through their set, because after a handful of songs Internal Corrosion called it a night. I would definitely like to see these guys play again, because they were really fucking excellent and I wasn't the only one who was thinking that in the crowd. People dug these dudes, and rightly so. They were great. Internal Corrosion from L.A. Check them out.
I hate to sound like that old guy, but the next band was setting up, these kids, like, high school kids, start setting up on some really craptastic musical equipment, joking around with Zack Attack, who seemed to be really tight with them, and I gotta admit it - I was thinking that this band was gonna suck ass big time. So Zack and the Singer of this band of clean cut American high school kids are killing off a bottle of Jägermeister, the other boys (literally) in the band pick up their instruments, get ready to play, and the Singer grabs the mic, mumbles something into it, lights the fuse of a proverbial bomb and then it goes off. This ginger kid on guitar starts blasting out some sick as fuck guitar riff, sounding like a cross between Minor Threat and Jerry's Kids, and the rest of the band comes crashing in on the 4, with the Singer screaming his face off, and with that, Nests are off and running, setting the place alight with their youthful explosion of Punk Rock goodness, leaving a few of the older crowd looking on in uneasy appreciation, and the rest were were just losing their shit. Me? I'm standing there with my stupid grin on my face and loving every minute of it! LOL It's fucking great! Bodies are flying everywhere, the band is raging full on like their fucking lives depend on it, and the music is just glorious, spurring the crowd onto more and more hysterics that fall perfectly in place with the 50 or 60 seconds of pure unadulterated Anger and Fury that each song is comprised of. The band remain calm through it all, just standing there thrashing away on their instruments, allowing the Singer to writhe, twist, turn and cavort to every note played, throwing himself so hard into the music that it looks like he's trying to physically hurt himself in the process. After what seemed like the blink of an eye the band finishes their set to lots of applause, handshakes and pats on the back for a job well done. It was quite the spectacle to see, that's for sure. I'm just stunned that such a fantastic band like Nests exists in Vegas, and I can only hope that they keep this shit up and just give the Scene the kick in the ass it sorely needs. Nests are the fucking shit. Check them out each and every time you can for a dose of how Hardcore Punk is really supposed to sound like.
Next up on the bill were some scary looking Punx that I'm acquainted with called Vihan Rytmi. They had announced on their Facebook page (which you can go to by clicking here) that this was their last gig ever, and after watching them play I kind of get why they said that. Vihan Rytmi play an Intense as Fuck set of Noise Not Music that's just gotta be a huge drain on them physically. Every person in the band gives 110%, and the Intensity on their faces when they play is scary to watch. Their sound goes from Grind to Crust to Thrash in the blink of an eye, and it all sounds glorious, like the sound of lobsters being pulverized in a blender. Their vokillist Adrian sounds like a man possessed, and he seriously scares me with the sounds coming out of him while the band performs. Like the Sounds of Hell is all I'm saying. For being such a nice guy I didn't know he had such Evil in him... heh heh Mike on drums is a kid I know from waaay back in the daze, and he's just a sick mess of arms and hair and feet behind the kit, which was very cool to watch. He can play, I'll give him that, and his insane unorthodox style of drum pummeling is cool to watch. Good job dude! The guitar player is some kid I know from somewhere, and he shreds the guitar with reckless abandon and a creepy smile on his face. He looks like one of the members of Amebix, which fits perfectly with this band. Larry, from Die Laughing and Life's Torment, and who also runs the Local record label Panic Inc., is on bass and does a great job keeping the rumbling low end in control. The band played their tunes to a super appreciative crowd, and if it wasn't for some dickhead giving the lead singer from Nests a total chickenshit cheap shot from behind, I would of said this was a perfect set from the band, but there's always gotta be some asshole to ruin things for people - that's how it goes in the Punk Rock world! LOL Vihan Rytmi recovered nicely from that bit of Drama, and played a few more songs, some with the help of their friend Crystal on vokills, and after that they were finished, supposedly never to play again, which is a shame. They were really good, and I'd like to see them play again somewhere down the line, which, I'm sure they will. ;-) Check out Vihan Rytmi. They're pretty fucking good.
Last but not least on this fantastic bill was Die Laughing, an amazing Local band that plays everything they do with a seriously downcast attitude, fast and furious, with an Intensity and Conviction that's hard to beat. They've been around for a while, and if you never saw them play before, then you might be in trouble, because this was supposedly their last show ever, because Larry (guitar/vocals) and Bob (drums/vocals) are moving to L.A., and I'm assuming they're not gonna do Die Laughing out there anymore, and the mood around the tiny canopied stage was a bit bittersweet, to say the least. Lots of Friends and Family had come to the gig to wish the boys well, and while they were setting up, Larry joked that they were going to play everything they knew how to play tonight, and I figured that with them it would only be about a half hour set - with encores! :-) Yeah, these guys play some painful sounding Punk Crust Doom Metal Thrash Hardcore music, and to me they sound like a kick ass cross between Neurosis, Black Flag and Negative Approach. They stuff they play is short, angry and scary. It brings out bad thoughts in you while you listen to it. It makes you feel like there's spiders crawling under your skin. It's a bit unsettling to say the least. The crowd had thinned out a bit but that was OK because those who stuck around got treated to a blistering set of amazeballs that had everyone's attention and got more than a few people jumping around to what the band was playing. I don't know all of Die Laughing's material, but I pretty sure I heard Be Yourself, Got Answers, Out Of Sight/Mind and, of course, their Black Flag cover of Gimme Gimme Gimme that Bob sings. The last song they did was that rap song they do. Yeah, Die Laughing does a rap song. Don't ask. So after Larry was through kicking the lyrics freestyle on the mic, Yo!, without much fanfare but plenty of applause and drunken catcalls, Die Laughing finished up what was supposedly their last set they will ever play. Boooooooooo. I hope it wasn't, but you never know. Die Laughing are a phenomenal trio of miscreants and their musical inspiration and presence here in the Scene will definitely be missed. Good Luck with everything out there in L.A. guys. That music scene out there don't know how lucky they are.