Monday, April 30, 2012
Superchrist with Nightbitch, Panzerbastard, and Rampant Decay [Ralph's, Worcester, 4/24/2012]
For the second week in a row, Metal Thursday (expansion pack) come on a Tuesday to fit the schedule of a touring band, and I duly went out, getting in in one piece after successfully not hitting either the freshly shredded truck tires around the 146 interchange, or the guy who slipped off the lamppost and fell into the street by the Worcester PD headquarters. This also turned out to be in enough time to browse through Superchrist's distro box, for good and ill; I had to break my long-standing rule on generally not buying anything (like 12" vinyl) that cannot be jammed into my coat until the end of the gig, but I had to do it in order to pick up the reissue of The Lord Weird Slough Feg's first album, which you really do not just walk away from and assume a copy will still be in the bin after four hours in the company of the kind of people who come out to a Superchrist gig. I bit the bullet, nabbed it plus a Barbatos live disc and Headbanger on CD, then decided that as long as Rampant Decay hadn't started yet, I could just go bung the records in the trunk and not have to worry about carrying them around for the rest of the night. It's a little false, for weird and unrealistic definitions of false, but it worked, and I got back in in time for RxDx to start.
Rampant Decay [5/7]
Despite the circumstances, Rampant Decay stepped up and smashed out a characteristically violent, explosive set of their patented dirtbag-oi/crust/powerviolence blend. In comparison to past samples, this one was more punk-driven if a little reduced, and the set kind of wore down in places, but some of this is likely not having a live bassist (or second guitar) in the ranks for this one, putting more of the weight on Pat, some of it may be that the drummer sliced his hand up before the show (though I'm the wrong person to ask about drumming issues), but a lot of it is likely the height of the stage; typically, bands like this don't play a lot of gigs this high up and this far from the audience. Rich was still stalking around like a madman, pushing his damnedest to get that energy out to the floor, but in some ways it doesn't feel quite like a Rampant Decay show if people aren't actually getting pushed over.
In the process of picking up some gear off the band later (no shirt, but last year's CD-EP, the new split with The Kruds, and a pile of stickers for distro), I realized that the info I'd been giving was out of date: it's a lot closer to three months than four that I shove off for the festivals for the last time. That RFM is still out there, and is going to get more publicized.
It was Superchrist on tour, but it was Panzerbastard who probably got the most action on the floor, grinding out a punishing set of their lows-heavy thrash'n'roll. They changed up the lineup a little -- Bobby was out, allegedly on account of Fresh Kill practice -- but kept the violence rolling through both old stuff and new. Keith didn't smash anything up this time (well, aside from me after I got up too fast and clocked him one on the chin with my shoulder armor, but that was before the show started), but the band laid glorious waste to the eardrums of all and sundry.
Andrew wins tonight's edition of None So Kvlt. Seriously, Infernal Majesty? I almost wish I'd had more free time in Canada (as opposed to sleeping and point-to-point drivetime) to confirm how few people even in Canada listen to Infernal Majesty.
I hadn't seen this band in ages, and in the intervening time they'd dropped Phil, whose characteristic vocals had been one of the major hooks for the band initially, so it was going to be interesting to see how they handled themselves as a three-piece. The result was pretty cool, if a little constrained; Nightbitch continues to be not your average doom band, and more strongly connected to the roots of the style in occult '70s rock, but the feel on this set was of more that they could still do with these members. This was a cool set even with the subdued feel; maybe just needs more runtime and more strippers, but cool music all the same.
Over the course of this set, Superchrist kept up a super-high level of energy with absolute consistency. The audience responded to their rocked-up Motorhead grooves in similar fashion, keeping things pumping and violent start to finish. There were a lot of songs that kept in that internal consistency -- Superchrist songs tend to sound like other Superchrist songs with fairly small degrees of separation -- but the point of this set, and of bands like Superchrist, is a lot more to make party than to produce something for contemplation, and party is what they delivered, in spades.
Eventually, though, the party had to wind up, and after an audience-enforced encore, I picked up a shirt and Holy Shit from Superchrist and breakables off Rampant Decay, then hit the road. I managed to get back right at 2, but as usual work prevented anything getting finalized on this front for too long. Next was Inquisition, hopefully documented faster.