Mug mug mug.

Yesterday, I took a break from my real life in order to once again transform into my punk rock persona. I put on my studded belt, ripped jeans and ugly shirt, made a bad-ass mohawk and couldn't stop singing "God Save The Queen".

Seriously though, the guys at Kickass Records put on another great show in the Sojo in Leuven, featuring 15 Minute Powernap, 50/50, Fair Do's, Smartbomb and After The Fall. I put on normal clothes and my hair has been looking like shit for a while so why even bother. As usual I barely knew any of the bands.
Fun times.

15 Minute Powernap were first to play. An upcoming Belgian band who announced their set with the words "welcome to our rehearsal". That certainly didn't set high expectations. My first thought was: "Oh man this is going to suck." However, it didn't totally suck. The quintet (of twenty- to thirty-somethings, I guessed) put on a show of cool music, but there were some awkward moment still. They haven't gotten their grip on it, but once they do, they're pretty cool. Melodic punk rock, sometimes poppy like Blink 182, sometimes a bit harder like early/mid Rise Against. Catchy melodies, great technical and varied songwriting and cool cover songs (Pulley, Sum 41). But also not flawless and to my hearing (which can't really be trusted, I admit) the vocals weren't up to scratch.

So, on to the next band. 50/50 are an already established Dutch skatepunk band, who chose to speak English because there even were people from Sweden at the show (plus the UK guys from the Fair Do's and US guys from Smartbomb/After The Fall). Sick shit. The band itself was pretty sick as well, awesome musicianship put to great use: playing punk rock music. Technical, melodic, catchy and damn fast. They played the same song 3 times, every time faster than the last one. So, awesome show, great fun, some cool covers as well (Satanic Surfers, Propagandhi) and an overall delightful performance.

Fair Do's time! I still don't know how to pronounce it correctly, but I think it's /fɛ: doʊz/. I always thought it was /fɛ: du:z/. Nevermind. Anyway, great band. Saw them at the Rockcafé earlier this year, but this show was better I think. Once again great talents. It takes some talent to play fast melodic skatepunk, so on every one of those shows I can't stop staring at their instruments and the way they play it. They make it seem pretty damn simple. And if that's not enough, their songs are pretty complex, so I can't stop wondering how the fuck bands like these memorise their set, without seemingly playing anything wrong or at the wrong time. It amazes me.
Also, the singer gets credit for falling into the drumkit and losing his guitar strap during the same song. And for the best joke of the evening: "We've got Swedes here, turnips, …"

Then Smartbomb took the stage. Goddamn. I was blown away. Awesome. Fast, loud, fuzzy hardcore/punk rock. Their drummer looked like he should play in a Scandinavian skatepunk band, their new bass player wouldn't have looked out of place in a Gainesville punk rock band, and both guitarists/singers could've easily fit in in a Massachussets punk rock band (oh snap!). This band features members from No Trigger, which is pretty cool.
Seriously though, great show, no nonsense. They played a Ramones cover which made me very happy and I punkdanced a bit. The vocals didn't come out all that well in the mix, but I was a bit under the weather so who was I to care? Nobody. It sounded awesome. Not much else to add. I bought their records and a tanktop for a low price. I kinda had to, because the singer had already convinced me before the show to buy something.
Support touring bands, kids. Certainly when they sell stuff for dirt cheap.

Finally it was After The Fall's turn. They are comparable to No Trigger as well actually, but After The Fall is a bit trashier vocalwise, I'd say. Also they are a 3-piece, which is a rare sight in melodic punk music. They pull it off really well, though. Their bassist had supposedly only played a handful of days with them, but was nearly flawless. They played a Descendents cover (Coffee Mug), which was obviously off the hook. Some more dancing and releasing frustrations caused by days of studying.

Afterwards I spent 90 euros on cds and lps, hung out a bit and finally went home. Satisfied.

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