Saturday, June 06, 2009

Every Shirt LXIX: Swashbuckle

Free Image Hosting at

shirt: Swashbuckle - Wooden Legs & Emptied Kegs
size: XL (US)
vintage: 2006
provenance: band

Long before Swashbuckle were on Nuclear Blast and putting out shirts with blinged-out versions of this logo, they were hauling their pirate act to small clubs along the Eastern seaboard, and it was at just such a show in October 2006 that they were completely awesome at and convinced me to pick up this shirt.

Looking back at that gig really shows the value of going to local shows for a metalhead, and perhaps by extension for everyone. If you go to a lot of DIY shows, you're going to see a fair number of subpar bands, and a lot of other bands that are never going to do anything noteworthy outside their immediate local scene, either because they're not original enough, or life factors intervene and tear the band apart. However, you're also likely to see and get to know a few bands that will get big, long before they get up to that kind of status, and quite a few that would or could have if not for tricks of fate. Of the five bands on the bill that I got this shirt at, three of them are now signed to what function as major labels in the metal world: Swashbuckle on NB, Revocation to Relapse, and now Ramming Speed (just a name change, it's still the same five guys who were in Despotic Robot at this point) on Candlelight. Of the others, Deathamphetamine might well have been if they hadn't had such trouble keeping their lineup together, and as for Unholy Trinity, it's pretty much an article of faith in Boston that at least Mike (drums) and Blue (bass) would be able to get their band to that level, provided that they decided to concentrate on a single band to do so with. In this case, it's a question of priorities rather than ability.

The tl;dr version: support your local scene, because eventually, you'll be in the middle of the pack at an arena show and be able to say, "man, this is nothing, I remember seeing these guys back when they were playing clubs that didn't have enough floor space for everyone to load in at once, and they were awesome even back then." Also, the New England scene is wicked awesome, and people should watch out for the next wave of bands. My educated guess is going to be Boarcorpse, Composted (unless the government promotes Mark to be Czar of Trains or something), and maybe Razormaze if the thrash revival continues or they're able to get a unique angle like Ramming Speed did. Watch Blabbermouth for these names (even just to mock me if this is totally wrong), and go to shows so you can brag about seeing them at Ralph's or O'Brien's or Cherry St. or AS220 and lord it over the peons from other parts of the country.

No comments: