Something Something My Town I Love My Friends Defend Pizza - a tale by K.G.

Ugly shirts, pizza references, overpriced beanies, lotsa cool kids, ... I must be at what they call a "pop punk show". It's pretty dark in here. It's raining outside. I grab a beer. The first band already started playing. I didn't think they'd be any good. I don't know why I thought that. Young Hearts is amazing. As Give Up The Ghost once proclaimed, "young hearts, be free tonight", such are these guys. Free in spirit, free in punk rock. The first impression I get of these guys is a spot-on cover of Propagandhi's Nation States. Wait, did that really just happen? I hear around and apparently these guys have only played a handful of shows. Sure, they've played in bands before, but as a new band with new songs and a new line-up, they sound tight as fuck. Their songs are catchy, full of hooks and very intense. They sound like nay old punk rock band in the 90s sounded. At least any old punk rock band on Fat Wreck Chords. You know. That kinda stuff. It's nice. I wanna see them again. A couple songs later they're done though.
My beer is finished so I get another one. I hang around in the venue, checking out the merch and the people. Some of my buds are here. That's always fun. I go to the back to stand at the bar while I watch Above The Underground. I tell my friend that I'm not sure if I like it or not. He tells me I do. I'm not too sure about that. It's hard to dislike, really, but it's nothing that I'd pay money for to watch, I think. They have some good stuff, and the guitarist that's not the lead singer should probably be the lead singer. I prefer his voice. Anyway, the show passes, I don't feel altered.
I think it's pretty amazing when you haven't released anything as a band for a good 3 years, but still can tour and draw an alright crowd that's stoked to see you play. Me VS Hero (pronounced 'mev-she-ro') do that. I haven't heard the band prior to one song I checked out last Thursday, which, frankly, I didn't like. But I'm here now, a lot of effort goes into these kind of shows so I would be stupid to not 'support the scene' and 'drag my ass over there'. I'm watching the band and they excite me. I'm not too big on the whole post-Movielife set of bands that popped up in the late 2000s, but you know, for one Me VS Hero is turning out to be at the better edge of that set and in general it is a kind of music that's inherently positive and uplifting, so who am I to be a sourpuss and not enjoy what these guys are doing on stage. Although I can't help constantly think the bassist looks a lot like my friend Lieven. Anyway, Me VS Hero play a rad but short set. They slowly get the crowd into action and some sing along with all their hearts. Some crowdsurf with all their body mass. Some stand in the back and absorb the music withh all their brains. Or ears. Ears first, then brains I think.
Then they stop. Everyone expects them to play an encore, but they don't. Weird, but I respect that. I don't really like encores. Just play your set and leave it at that. That's cool. That's "punk rock", as the kids may say. Maybe these days they'll say "oh, that's so pop punk". Stop trying to make "pop punk" happen, guys. It's not going to happen.
I spend the rest of the night drinking free beers and hanging out with friends. I meet new friends, that's always nice. I already forgot their names though. I'm an asshole. Anyway, these two dudes whose names I forgot give me a ride to the station so I can get on the train safe and dry. They're total sweethearts and I feel like a dick for not remembering their names. Thanks.

I haven't told you this.

Last weekend Riverboat Gamblers played around. They stopped in Antwerp on Sunday. I had an exam the next day so naturally I decided to drink too much and miss my train home.

Anyway, Silver & Gold opened the night. They keep getting better, which is a good thing. I'm really looking forward to their full length record. They're heading for a reall cool gruff punx sound and I really like that. They all have beards and stuff. Obvi.

The Priceduifkes were next. It had been a while since I'd seen them play so it was fun. Some newsies, some oldsies, lotsa funsies. Also lots of people in the audience I hadn't seen in a while, so that was fun.

Apparently I yelled at one of my friends later that night, which I feel really bad about cause I don't remember that at all and I can't imagine myself yelling at her. There's just no good reason, so hearing that I did that the next day was kind of a major bummer. I'm sorry, dude.

Riverboat Gamblers played though, and I was drunx I think. I do remember they put on a really fun show, they pulled a pretty big crowd and for a Sunday night, the artmosphere was buzzin'. They're a good band and they showed that. That's nice.

What have we learned today?
1. punx show
2. I fucked up
3. classic


Nervous Motherfucks

Antwerp on a Wednesday night. Beautiful city. That's what I would say if I visited the city. Instead of visiting the city, I went to the other side of town. Place to be: Music City. Some kind of venue, hidden between the kebab restaurants and night shops. Rad.

After not finding an ATM machine anywhere near and walking back 15 minutes, I finally got into the venue. It's a very cool place. Small, cosy, cans of Jupiler for 1,5 euro. I love this place. At 8pm there already were quite a few people.

A bit later Nervous Mothers was ready to rip up the place for their first show. With members of Vuur and Millions Of Them, two great forgotten bands, these guys tore it up. They assumedly played their entire demo, which is now available. Limited to 66 copies, which is the closest to 666 copies without the risk of ebing stuck with 600 tapes at home, I guess. Anyway, whoa. Fucking hell these guys are loud. And great! The kind of music where it's difficult to find a rhythm. I tried to nod my head along but sometimes it just didn't work. I love that. It's something very different than the standard catchy stuff I listen to all the time, but fuck I love it. Makes me angry. Anyway, energetic set, the guys haven't lost their touch. Being angry is crucial for a band of this type, and they did well on that part. They dedicated their set to "all women who don't wanna be mothers, wives or lovers" or something along those lines. I haven't thought about it yet but I think that's a very valid dedication.

Next up, Crywank. First of all, best name for anything ever. Second of all, the name makes a lot of sense in combination with the tunes. It's sad music played by some wanker, hence Crywank I guess. If I'm not mistaken, it's the singer/songwriter project by a dude on a 4-string guitar and a dude who drums on a box. It's awesome. So yeah, no bother using the bottom two strings, he just got rid of them, that's good. He started off by ranting a whole bunch, which he continued doing during the entire set, which was at least entertaining and amusing. Then he decided he was gonna do this rap sorta song first, so that got off to a good start. Some of the songs were absolutely brilliant, some were just okay, but I thoroughly enjoyed the set, but the guys' sincerity, honesty and under-the-influence rambling, as his musical efforts. It's just really sad music but I had to laugh so much, it's alienating a bit.
Anyway loved it. Check it out.

Then Old Skin played. Yes. I was super stoked for them. I've been following the Church Of Fuck label for the last couple months and this was one of the bands I was really excited about. And they delivered. They played and radical set, they got me in a very angry-at-the-world mood and just blasted away everything else. They put out a very good 7" full of loud, fast, chaotic, powerful and metallic music and it's totally worth it.


Let me see a show of hands!

Background story: I participated in this mixtape project, right? It's this fun thing where a unch of people sign up to make mixtapes/mixcds and send 'em to other people, who in turn send theirs to people. It's fun cause you get to listen to new music and share your own. I got one from this guy called Toon. I knew who he was, but I don't think he knew me, which is pretty funny actually.
Anyway, so I get this mixcd from him, late December, and it's all bands from Limburg, and he made like a cardboard map, cut into the shape of Limburg and indicated which bands were from which town, which bands were still active and other stuff. I was really impressed and stoked. Toon later contacted me through Facebook and asked if I got it and if I liked it, and what bands were my favourite. So I tell him I like the song by Longlost a lot. He tells me they're playing a show in Brussels on Friday, 10th of January, together with his own band, Six Hands, and this other band on the mixcd, The Guru Guru. So three Limburgian bands on one night in a bar in Brussels. Sounds like fun, so I decided to go.

I get there at 8:30 and hang out at the bar until the bands start (at 9). I should be studying but okay, whatever. I wasn't. I was drinking beer and whiskey and stuff. The bar was called Rock Classic, for some reason, and we pretty cool. The stage was super high, which was weird at first but when the venue got pretty packed it wasn't really that awkward anymore.

At 9-ish, Six Hands started. Also, my friend Bram had arrived, that was cool. We drank beers. I've seen Six Hands before, that's how I knew who Toon was, and why the knowledge was not mutual. Toon plays bass. There's only six hands in this bands, so a quick mathematical equation confirms that there are two other dudes, one at the drums and one at the guitar. And they played music together. I like them a lot. It's mathrock or something? I really don't know how to describe them. For reference, listen to Fugazi's Brendan #1. But you could just as easily just listen to Six Hands, of course. Jumpy melodies, tense bass parts, insane drumming, the guys know how to put down a great song and play it live like it should be done. Appropriate "whoo"s and perfect buildups. Great band.

Longlost was up next. To be honest, I lost my mind for some time. Like, literally. My mind was wandering somewhere else and I had trouble finding it back. So I wasn't as attentive to Longlost's set entirely, although I was really looking forward to seeing them. The parts I actively remember were very, very cool though. There's also only six hands in this band, so the guitarist pulled some tricks with loops and all, and it worked out so that was great. Interesting musical dynamics, mostly just wild, and a bit crazy. Wicked vocal effects and backing vocals. A rock'n'roll attitude that I find in many a Limburg-based band, actually. Cool.

I met Toon afterwards. I thanked him for the mixcd, and he said he didn't even get one from anyone so I promised him I'd make one for him. Also, he used to be in a screamo band or something, that's cool. He's a really nice person, if you ever meet hem, be sure to, you know, meet him. Make him a mixtape or something. Romance him. Tell him he's pretty. Whatever.

After a nice and particularly weird conversation with 2 Bulgarian dudes, one of which was pretty excited about my zine, The Guru Guru started playing. Whoa. That was awesome. I'm not sure if they actually were, but half the band looked like they were on drugs. And that's not surprising if you hear them play. Funky, groovy, psychedelic music with a charming singer. Very rad set, I enjoyed it a lot. It helped that I was a bit under the influence as well. Also people did a mosh pit at the end? That was weird I think. I don't really remember if it was weird or if it made sense. I'm gonna go with weird.

Afterparty in Leuven. Forgot my party time watch, cause I wasn't planning on party-timing, but hey, sometimes the party finds you. I'm the worst.
I should be studying.


Kollapse/No Fealty

As I've said before, I got a couple requests to review some stuff, which is nice cause it makes me feel like I'm doing something constructive. Of course that's not true, I'm just a vessel for these bands to promote themselves. But that's alright with me.
However, I'm a huge fudgewad so I haven't been doing those. Anyway, let's start with a short one.

No Fealty/Kollapse split 7" (2013, Angry Music/5FeetUnder)

1. No Fealty - Ravished
2. Kollapse - Father

Both bands hail from the same country of Denmark. They have a lot more in common, though. Fierceness, a brutal sound, high kinetic energy, a DIY attitude and a love for loud music.
The A-side is sort of the fast side of the record. Clocking in at about 2 minutes, No Fealty doesn't muck about with getting their point across. Pounding rhythms complemented by dissonant edgy riffs. Reminds me of Botch or Keelhaul or something like that. It's structured chaos. Ravished deals with war issues in an almost medieval way, which is sadly how some wars still go down.
The B-side is about thrice as long and a lot slower. Headbang material. Kollapse bring more straight-forward, sludge-esque slow-paced hardcore and do it in an enticing and captivating way. The subject of Father is rather clear and is a bit off-setting even, which only amounts to the emotional strength of the song. Very powerful.

So there you have it. Good split, a short fast chaotic song and a long, slow straight-forward song, but with enough musical similarities to make sense to put it together.


The Apers/The Riptides

I totally forgot the Apers probably put out the best two pop punk tunes of 2013 on their split with the Riptides. Sure, the Riptides ripped as well, but the Apers fucking aped that shit.

That entire Apers-side has had plenty of loud spins on my record player. Both Said You'd Call Me and Be Mine Tonight are top-notch

Said You'd Call Me
Be Mine Tonight

Fuck, so good.
I haven't seen these guys in ages. Best band ever. So conquequently, best of 2013 as well!

Never forget.