I'm a big fan of these matinee shows, because I don't have to drive: as before, I just got on the T at the stop three blocks from my place and rode in. I got in a little early, though, and took the opportunity to walk around Jamaica Plain a little before I actually went in. I ended up going a little further into the Dominican 'hood than I initially planned, but managed to get out in one piece, so it wasn't as bad as all that. Definitely an interesting experience.
So eventually I got back into the gentrified part of JP and got in the club, though most of the bands weren't there yet, and this would become a little important later: this was, as mentioned, a matinee show, so the bands would have to be all finished and packed out in time to start the second event around nine or so. Hanging out for the intervening time was decent, though; the PBR was cheap, the people as they filtered in were cool, and eventually the Packers decided to stop sucking and started pasting the Seahawks.
Unity Restistance [5/7]
I hadn't heard this band before, but hoped they'd be better than their name indicated. Despite the pull-two-words-out-of-the-Hatebreed-ballcap moniker, they fortunately provided a solid set of doctrinaire hardcore in an older style. It wasn't metal by any strict definition, but it was fun, butal music, and definitely an enjoyable time. Their set seemed a little short, probably due to the environmental factors, but with a band like this, you want them to keep their set relatively down, so that the material sounds fresh throughout. They probably could have done a couple more without people getting bored, but this was still a nice solid set.
I hadn't seen these guys in a while, and was quite pleasantly surprised at the strides they've made. This was a techncially near-perfect, textbook grindcore set that really stood out on what was overall a very solid bill. Mike drums with more raw power than about any other drummer I've seen lately, and the rest of the band is eminently able to keep up. It's always difficult to see which local bands are going to stick and hang around, but Mechannibal really sounds like they could be one of them, and go on to do some pretty impressive stuff.
Before this set, the juice was set loose as a harbinger of things to come: Mike snapped one of the anchor points of a cymbal leg clean off the shaft, and had to borrow a stand from (IIRC) the Suffering Bastard drummer. Raw MUSCLE.
Suffering Bastard [5/7]
I hadn't seen the R.I. bands on this bill previously, and thus was interested to see what this grind act would sound like, with their two bassists, zero guitars, and hipster fans. The answer tuned out to be along the lines of "what Mortician would sound like if they listened to a lot of Napalm Death". I know this doesn't explain the hipsters, but if they have sense, then yes, it is understandable that they'd like short, gravelingly brutal songs powered by a dense low end. They took a black metal turn on one song that was kind of interesting, but most of this set was solid grind, made distinctive to a certain degree by the unusual configuration. The sound was wearing a little by the end of their set; maybe due to the phenomenon, as mentioned, of grind bands as a class having a half-life for live performances. Still definitely a cool time, and I did get their current CD, where it'll be interesting to hear how they present the dual-bass sound in the studio.
Unholy Goatfucker [5/7]
Back before they pussied the show out by making it about Elmo, taking away Cookie Monster's cookie addiction (and pipe in the Monsterpiece Theater sketches wtf), and making Oscar stop being such a dick to people, there was an occasional segment on Sesame Street about "one of these things is not like the other/one of these things does not belong". You seldom think about Sesame Street bits at a DIY show, but when a corpsepainted black metal band comes out after three mostly-grindcore bands, it's to a certain degree a natural leap. When this band goes on to play in the style of early Dimmu/early Immortal and changes it up with intermittent female vocals, the questioning becomes stronger. Though they were really weirdly matched to the rest of the bill and started out kind of rough, Unholy Goatfucker got better as the set went on, and did manage to finish with a decent performance.
I, Destroyer [6/7]
I thought this style of music had gone extinct, but fortunately, here it is, alive and well. This was a really kickass performance of brutal thrash in a style most prominently seen on demo tapes from about 1987-1992, which is rare to see live these days, but always good when you can find it. I wasn't able to get a CD, but will be doing my best to see them at any further gigs in Boston or northward, and maybe they'll have some more recordings or more merch at those. Regardless, if they're on their game to this degree or better, it's going to be an awesome show, as this one was.
Conscious of the need to try and get back to at least the bar at North Station if not all the way home ASAP due to the Pats game, I split about as soon as I, Destroyer finished. It was slow going due to infrequent trains, but I was back at my place to catch the end of the game; good guys win, and hopefully they'll be able to beat the Chargers without me spending the first half of the game at some show, because the only gig next weekend is Decrepit Birth and Hate Eternal (oh yeah, and BDM) on Saturday.