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MRR Radio #1587 • 12/10/17

This week Matt pulls some rarities out of the vault to make the scums and punks drool. Intro song: STENGTE DØRER ...

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MRR Radio #1586 • 12/3/17

On this week's MRR Radio, Rob goes ballistic for late '70s and early '80s Bloodstains punk rock from around the ...

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Maximum Rocknroll #416 • Jan 2018

Another new year, another exciting issue of Maximum Rocknroll! MRR #416, our January 2018 issue, begins with a sad note as we ...

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"Who gives a fuck?"

MRR Radio #1585 • 11/26/17

“[...] Elvis gives them a short speech about the death pangs that humanity must go through in order to reach ...

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MRR Radio #1584 • 11/19/17

Another fuct up Rotten Ron and Horrrible Halitosis Punker Power Hour. Intro song: DRUGCHARGE - Husk Rotten Ron fucks it up so you ...

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Wow, what a show! Shitstorm/The Kill/Noisear/DOC/Street Pizza/ATT in RVA 5/22/11

May 24th, 2011 by

Disciples of Christ (photo by Will Butler)

Most of my excitement leading up to this show stemmed around the fact that I chose to go to Chaos In Tejas (say hi if you see me there) over going to Maryland Death Fest. Both awesome lineups, but the possibility of seeing Lärm (canceled), Seein Red (canceled), Low Threat Profile (canceled), and Killing Joke (canceled) seemed to outweigh what MDF offered this year. Don’t get me wrong, Chaos in Tejas is stacked this year but, damn, did some amazing bands drop off. Well, the one major letdown was the fact that Australia’s premiere grindcore act, The Kill, would only be playing up in Baltimore for the fest I chose not to go to. To my belated surprise I got an invite on the internet to come see this show and I about ran circles around the room for joy, I could have kissed Mark Osborn on the lips for putting this together two hours away up in Richmond, Virginia.

I got a few Raleigh folks on board to come up with me and, surprises among surprises, I found out that my good friends Steveo and Andrea would be around and wanted to come with. Ended up being my awesome roommate Jace and the pair to head up. We rolled up in a leisurely Sunday style — ate some vegan all-you-can-eat buffet across the street, and prepared for a grindcore assault at Strange Matter.

First to play was Ancient Torture Techniques. I apologize for not having any pictures of them, I had thought to grab my camera out of my car a few minutes too late as I had a bird’s eye view and they started playing… plus, it appeared a friend or girlfriend of the band was getting video of them right next to me. Simone, the guitar player and long time acquaintance, had eaten all-you-can-eat buffet right next to us earlier in the evening but it didn’t seem to slow him down any, he was thrashing about the crowd as he played. The bass player did some cutting wood attacks with his bass and I was prepared to kick him back into his area if he got too close. The band shared vocal duties, had some yelling, screaming, and Simone threw back some of the Man Is The Bastard Cookie-Monster vocals. I’m 99% sure they are the only band that sounds like this in Virginia Beach, so glad to keep powerviolence strong up the coast.

Street Pizza (photo by Will Butler)

After ATT left the floor, RVA’s own Street Pizza started setting up on stage. Ironic band name aside, I had heard great things about this band and was excited about finally seeing them. I would have liked to have seen them play on the floor, but they delivered a tight set. Really quality grind-violence/powerviolence with songs that weren’t too short to be enjoyable. Caught a few pictures of the bass player singing with his eyes bugging out which made me laugh.

Disciples of Christ (photo by Will Butler)

Following the hometown heroes, Disciples of Christ, a.k.a. DOC, took the floor. I have an unfair bias towards this band, but for good damn reason. This was my second time seeing them and they were just as intense. Brutal blasting grindcore from DC featuring Nolan who is ex-Juice Tyme, young gun Tim, and Chris of Magrudergrind/Coke Bust/Sick Fix fame. Nolan played in the normal power-stance with his mic set up three to four feet from the ground and one leg dragged far back while playing and singing. All three of them sing. No fluff, great short set.

Noisear (photo by Will Butler)

When the show was first announced two or three weeks prior, they didn’t have Noisear listed as playing. It was a nice surprise to see them added into the mix. New Mexico’s grindcore outfit rolled up onto the stage with some funny looking death metal instruments but I was super stoked to see the guitar player wearing a Gate shirt. The band was noticeably more on the metal tip than the last set of bands but they tore through some songs like wet toilet paper. Not totally my cup of tea but I definitely liked them and I see them being a big hit at Deathfest.

The Kill (photo by Will Butler)

Holy crap. Holy crap? Holy crap! The Kill takes stage and I’m floored. I briefly and awkwardly met Roby, their guitar player, who I have been in contact with before, and felt like a weird fanboy taking pictures right under where he is playing guitar on a weird rolling set of stairs up to the stage. During their set my perch on the stairs almost got uprooted as the movable set of stairs I was on got moshed into a few times. Getting back to what’s important — The Kill. The Kill is Australia’s answer to Magrudergrind… super fast and blasty grindcore with no bass player. The played an absolutely perfect set and polished it all off with a Napalm Death cover.

Shitstorm (photo by Will Butler)

Last to play are my great old friends Shitstorm. I have known Ricky, Dub, Jon, and even their new bass player Eric, for about seven or eight years now. They consist of Miami locals, and I think Ricky is now an Atlanta transplant. The band plays super pissed off, primal grind and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them quite a few times. Actually, I drove two hours to the NC coast to see them play last summer, brought my camera to take pictures of them but left my camera battery in the charger. Lots of moshing in the crowd and Eric did some awesome youth crew jumps while swinging his bass behind his back so that he could get some height.

Will Butler (me) and Roby from The Kill (photo by Tim Mullaney)

I ended up talking to Roby from The Kill quite a bit before embarking on the trip home with my small NC crew. He told me about his four-year-old son that he misses, he told me that the drummer from Noisear got mugged in New York, and he ended up giving me quite a few kisses on my cheek. Legit awesome guy. Sorry to hear about the drummer from Noisear — hope they have better luck the next time they are up that way. In all, amazing trip. Thanks to all those who came with me, Mark for booking the show, the good RVA locals, and the bands…definitely the bands. It was a great small venue prequel to MDF for anyone going up to that, but it was just the amount of grind to get me stoked on life.

Enjoy some video that me and Jace Kuhn shot at the show:
The Kill

Scroll through all of the photos from the show here:
Besides being MRR.com’s premier show reviewer/photographer combo, Will Butler‘s claims to fame are To Live A Lie Records and Fastcore Photos (Issue #2 is almost out for those who care!). If you take photos and like to write about punk shows (or if you and a friend wanna team up to do this) drop us a line at with a sample review and pics, and maybe you too can be a MRR shitblogger!

Wow, what a show! Priapus/Burma/Backslider/Nimbus Terrifix/Shit Horse in Raleigh, NC

April 6th, 2011 by

Sorry for the brevity of this review — life kind of happened as it tends to do. To skip a few steps of explanation, I ended up filling in playing bass for the band Burma for this show. It was on April Fool’s Day at the Kent Street House in Raleigh, NC

Backslider (photo by Will Butler)

I got there nice and early after practicing with Burma for the first real time (the day of the show). I’m glad I was there early because I got to see Priapus play. Priapus is a tech grind band from Greensboro, featuring Kevin from Malebolgia. The band has the Discordance Axis-worshiping sound and almost sounds like a live Agoraphobic Nosebleed. I admit I left partway through their set to grab some equipment and get stoked to play.

Next was Burma with me on bass. I haven’t played in a band since I was 16 or 17, so it was good to do it again. Had no problem with the songs, having learned them over a two week time frame. To tell the truth, I keep getting them stuck in my head when I go to bed and wake up in the mornings, so I think I learned them too well. I was very lucid while playing so I can describe us surprisingly well. Drumming was tight; I don’t think I realized until we were playing how well Kane plays the drums… his drum fills perfectly led up to the endings of songs. I saw my roommate accidentally pull down part of the ceiling during the set. Matt, the singer, kicked a 24-pack out of someone’s hands who was throwing beer around on everybody. Here is a short video of the set, if you want to see my friend Patrick from Backslider haranguing me with his video camera:

Third to play was Backslider. I was hoping they’d have their new split out for the show, but no such luck. I also hoped that Pat would have the Mind As Prison/Disciples of Christ split out on his label. Those were not ready either. Bummer. What wasn’t a bummer was Backslider! Two-man power violence done up right. People were pretty still during their set. I don’t know if that is a bad thing, but it allowed me to get some great pictures in that small basement. Tight set.

Backslider (photo by Will Butler)

Nearing the end of the night, Nimbus Terrifix played. The band is ex-Dead Radical. They play a kind of orchestrated noise-violence. I think I was annoyed that I couldn’t get a good angle to take their picture. People finally woke up and got a bit crazy during their set.

Nimbus Terrifix (photo by Will Butler)

Last band was a local band called Shit Horse. They were a nice fresh sound after a night of hardcore. They were more of a psych garage rock band, I suppose you could say. They have a delightful front man who was being pretty funny the whole night, and wore a velour over-sized hoodie that made him look like he might be a boxer or an MC. During their set they had a girl in very little clothing, who was donning a horse head and a toy machine gun and dancing around in the crowd. Weird schtick but good music and something to talk about at the end of a good night.

Nimbus Terrifix and Backslider (photo by Will Butler)

Besides being MRR.com’s premier show reviewer/photographer combo, Will Butler‘s claims to fame are To Live A Lie Records and Fastcore Photos. If you take photos and like to write about punk shows (or if you and a friend wanna team up to do this) drop us a line at with a sample review and pics, and maybe you too can be a MRR shitblogger!

Wow, what a show! Dropdead/Wasted Time/Cough/Ilsa

March 15th, 2011 by

Wow, what a show! is brought to you again this week by Will Butler of To Live A Lie Records / Fastcore Photos. If you take photos and like to write about punk shows (or if you and a friend wanna team up to do this) drop us a line at with a sample review and pics, and maybe you too can be a MRR shitblogger!

Ilsa (photo by Will Butler)

It has been a little bit since I’ve posted something for you fine folks. Of course, if you get the print version of MRR you can see my interview in issue #335 with the fine folks in DEVOUR. Speaking of a little bit of time, the almighty Providence grind/violence band DROPDEAD hasn’t played a show in DC in thirteen years! Well, on March 12th, 2011… all that changed when the band drove all the way down just to play DC and turn around and go back on with their normal lives.

Not sure if anyone likes a show review to be more like a journal or not but I think it makes it more interesting, and I’m the one writing here so you’ll have to deal with it for now. The kids of BURMA, a local Raleigh band, were nice enough to let me tag along with them on the way up to the show. Had an entertaining ride up. We then caught up with (sorry this seems to be shout-out heaven right here) Greg from DEATHRATS who was nice enough to show us around town for an hour or two before the show. We went to Smash and Crooked Beats Records, and then by Sticky Fingers bakery so that I could get a killer vegan cinnamon bun and some coffee to get me amped up for the night, and so that I wouldn’t crash early because I woke up at 9 a.m. As we roll back to the house, Greg starts to flip out as there is a van parked in front of the house. He looks over at me and says something to the extent of, “Please don’t let me flip out — Dropdead is over at my house now.” Awesome nice folks, I had met Ben a few times before as he has toured down with bands and when Dropdead played Richmond for Best Friends Day a few years ago. A quick aside: when they played Richmond it was one of the most insane house shows I’ve ever been to… The show got moved from a venue to a house; the house’s basement ceiling got ripped down during their set and I was clinging to the water heater for protection.

Cough (photo by Will Butler)

Fast forward to actual show time. The show was at a church a few blocks from Greg’s house and even fewer blocks from Sticky Fingers, where we had gotten some eats earlier in the day. Really awesome setup for shows. ILSA went on first. This is the only band I had no idea about before seeing them. Pretty good down-tuned sludge/doom. I noticed one person in that band that I recognized but couldn’t place it at all. I later realized he was in a two-younger-kid grindcore band I had seen maybe four years ago in Baltimore called WYLD STALLYNS. I had always wondered what happened to people from that band so was excited to make that connection.

Aptly, COUGH followed. Sludge jams, back-to-back. I saw the band five years ago and the singer was too obliterated to stand up, so the new configuration of the band was a huge improvement. I tried my darndest to get pictures of the band to where they didn’t have hair splaying in their faces but didn’t have much luck.

Wasted Time (photo by Will Butler)

Next to play was WASTED TIME. The band rips every time. Slightly different than any band playing the night, but was somehow a perfect transition between the sludge and grind bands. I was standing at oh so the wrong place during their set and was about to get my camera smashed by a stagedive when the guy realized what I had in my hand and made a feline-esque leap right over my head. Later in the set I turned around and saw three different people holding their noses, people were in the pit crowd killing and freaking out really hard for the band. Later in the night I had the pleasure of meeting Mark and Alex for the first time, and got to say hey to the lovely Brandon as well.

Last was cherry on top of an already awesome show, DROPDEAD… lords of grindcore and purveyors of animal rights. During the whole set people were clamoring to share the mic with Bob as he was belting out song after song. I really don’t even know what to say that gives them justice. I felt kind of awkward as I was the only person on stage during their set but I had a bird’s eye view of the maniacs in the pit. I saw even more people holding their noses as if each person in the place was systematically punch squarely in the nose. I think they did their thirteen-year absence justice. Lots of video cameras — please do yourself a favor and lurk video sites for a recording of the set.

Dropdead (photo by Will Butler)

So I am one to harp on the good things during a show. There unfortunately were a few fights, mainly near the end of the night. Both Michelle from SICK FIX and Greg seemed to do a good job keeping things under control. I thought Bobby Egger from Headcount Records was about to jump in and break up one fight. I’m an outsider to things that go on in DC so I hope nothing was more serious than someone got hit wrong in the mosh pit or something.

My night concluded back at a house with DROPDEAD, eating the biggest piece of vegan pizza I have ever seen in my life. Amazing show, good town, good trip, awesome friends. Thanks to Chris Moore for putting the show on.

Wow, what a show! Short, Fast, and Loud 10 Year Anniversary at 924 Gilman

February 1st, 2011 by

Wow, what a show! is brought to you this week by Will Butler of To Live A Lie Records with photos by Sergio Amalfitano of Magnum XL Photos. If you take photos and like to write about punk shows (or if you and a friend wanna team up to do this) drop us a line at with a sample review and pics, and maybe you too can be a MRR shitblogger! Now, take it away, Will…

First off, respect goes where it is deserved. I love MRR, but I also love Short Fast & Load magazine. From the early days of Chris Dodge interviewing the likes of HERESY ten years ago, up to today where Jeff and Athena from Six Weeks picked up and kept the magazine running, this has been one of my favorite magazines, especially since it focuses on fast hardcore and grindcore.

I have never traveled to the West Coast for a show, figured 2011 was the time, and this was the show. I was a little bummed to see LOW THREAT PROFILE played a show in the area a few weeks beforehand, but I was secretly hopeful that they might crash the show and play. No such luck on that front, but they are playing Chaos in Tejas with LÄRM!

So on to the show…

I was quite jet lagged after a seven hour flight into the Oakland/SF/Berkeley area. My friend Ziggy and I hit up Amoeba first, after that we found a restaurant run by a vegan cult to eat at, then headed on to the show with our friend Javad in tow. Following a pack of people off the BART train we eventually meandered down the bike path and over a few blocks and we were at the longest line of punks I’ve seen in a long time. Our small group got absorbed by a larger group which contained a Miami’s friend which was an awesome and odd coincidence. Bummer his band’s last show was the beginning of this year — RIP MEHKAGO NT.

Iron Lung (photo by Sergio Amalfitano)

After some stint of time waiting in the longest line ever, we were inside just as DHC is about to go on. I was fairly busy people-watching and getting my bearings on where I was for probably their whole set. I bobbed my head some, but didn’t really register that this was the first band I had ever seen play on the West Coast. After the set I realized I was standing right behind Shawn from CAPITALIST CASUALTIES and excitedly talked to him for a little bit. Sorry DRUNK HARDCORE, wish I gave your band a little bit more of a chance but my own hyperactivity is a wicked mistress.

Next up was IRON LUNG. I have historically been out of town anytime they had played near me in the past five years until I saw them for the first time in 2010 at Maryland Deathfest and they wowed me beyond wow.  Super excited to see them again. I met Mike from HUMMINGBIRD OF DEATH for the first time and he was right up near the front. I ended up  stuck between him and a guy with a fancy camera, that is where I was when all hell broke loose as the band ripped it up on stage. I tried snapping a few pictures on my crappy digital camera but was bumped and knocked into camera man to my right a little too much for my liking. Killer set by the band — no witty banter like at MDF but I was impressed and happy.

Athena from Voetsek (photo by Sergio Amalfitano)

Next to play was VOETSEK, a supergroup of a band including Ami Lawless who contributes to SF&L zine and is the front woman of  the band, Athena of Six Weeks on bass,  Peter of POPULATION REDUCTION and also a cooking column in the zine, and finally the very courteous Scotty Karate from Tank Crimes Records. The band (don’t hate me) is super sloppy live, but that is really what I’d expect from a bunch of punks playing thrash metal. There were some killer guitar sweeps, I can respect that!

PLUTOCRACY went on next. They were having some sampler issues, but once they got up and running they delivered. The fact that I hadn’t slept in almost a full day was catching up to me but I enjoyed the band. Don’t know how often they play but I’m pretty sure it is a rarity. One guy in the band had his mic cocked upwards, Lemmy-style!

LACK OF INTEREST were the second to last band of the night. I’m not sure what was up, maybe my sleepy stupor, but LOI didn’t really deliver for me. I was super excited to finally see them and just kind of ended up being a sour taste in my mouth. If you disagree with me or you’re in the band, just go with the jetlag excuse — I had probably been awake for 24 hours at this point. Just wasn’t feeling it, was bummed! I feel better about missing MDF this year now.

BRUTAL TRUTH went on last, and my dear sir Rich Hoak, you’re going to hate me, your band was the only band I missed play at the fest.  I needed rest and we needed to catch the only way we knew back, which was by way of the BART, and its last departure was 15 minutes from leaving us stuck to try to figure out the 1am bus route. We booked it out of there without an eyeful of their cowboy-hatted front man.

Rest rest rest rest. Woke up and just bummed around San Fran and found foods to eat and ran into the same 303 Miami clique from the day before in the downtown area. They were on their way to Haight Street and we had just come from a brewery my friend wanted to check out, where I got a delicious homemade ginger beer. Pretty sure we went out seeing the sites all wrong, but we both knew what we were in store for that night and needed a nice simple day.

Population Reduction (photo by Sergio Amalfitano)

We knew about the mega-line from the night before and got there quite a bit early. Neither of us wanted to miss a band play. When we got in there I found some nachos and non-meat taco meat to eat on to tide me over for the night… very nice of the Gilman folks for giving out some food for us! POPULATION REDUCTION took the stage.  I really only know the band because their label has been nice enough to send me free copies of their CD in the past. I didn’t know they were a two piece. The highlight of the set was when they called for Dave from PLF to take the stage and sing. Dave is a man among men and I had never seen him sing sans a guitar. He belted out the song and I remembered him hunkering down to bellow into the microphone. The band finished their set sans Dave. Two-piece bands are great!

PLF (photo by Sergio Amalfitano)

A band who I cannot say more great things about took the stage: PLF came from Texas to bring the grindcore laced with thrash mayhem to the city of Berkeley, and the mayhem was indeed brought. My little bubble of insecurity of being out of town was popped by their onslaught. They played for a surprisingly long time but the more the better in my opinion. Frank and Dave never go wrong in my book — really the perfect two-piece grindcore band. For as long as they’ve been a band they deserve any praise they get. Hell, I think POPULATION REDUCTION has been a band for ten years even, so quite a good set of veteran bands were gracing the stage tonight.

Despise You (photo by Sergio Amalfitano)

Moving on, the almighty DESPISE YOU took the stage. They killed song after song after song. Instead of me describing it in detail, I did take select videos of them while they were playing, you’ll want to check these out. This was my third time seeing them, one time was a secret show, and they preformed just as well as the secret show they played the year before!

Capitalist Casualties (photo by Sergio Amalfitano)

CAPITALIST CASUALTIES took stage. I think all these guys are great, the singer Shawn is nice, Jeff does  SF&L magazine with Athena and runs a killer label, I don’t really know Mike at all, and Heraldo is a super sweet guy from Denver who also plays in CATHETER and runs Bad People Records.  I was stuck behind the worst person ever for their set… goddamn. This dude was towering over me and had a video camera and every type of finger ring imaginable. I’m not much of a shit talker but I don’t care if he reads this, he probably knows he is the huge douchebag who is flipping out filming the band while throwing his video camera all over the place to the point where I could see half of what he was recording was black because he was thrashing around too much to keep the camera pointed at the band. Maybe he is the endearing superfan — take it as you may. I moved up and out of the path of the mega camera arm guy and snapped off a few videos. Say what you may, CAPITALIST CASUALTIES always puts on a solid show… even when Shawn fell through a roof before MDF and sang either in a wheelchair or on crutches they still killed it with energy. Someone got wrecked in the pit during their set and I accidentally ran across the video of what happened here.

I had my fingers crossed on the next band. I was hoping for no more disappointments for the fest, as I had never seen FLAGITIOUS IDIOSYNCRASY IN THE DILAPIDATION (FID) before and had no idea what to expect out of the all female Japanese grindcore outfit.  First surprise, white guy on guitar… what? He apparently lives in Tokyo and he went crazy on stage during their set. The singer did some cutesy dance moves and girly singing in a few songs but the rest of the time was belting out horrifying high pitch screams mixed with the most brutal, guttural growls I’ve heard come out of anyone’s mouth. I always seem to compare the band to MIND AS ASIAN, but seeing them live they became their own band in my head. They killed it. Highlight of the two days for me. Here is some video I took of them.

FID (photo by Sergio Amalfitano)

The band to conclude the fest was BASTARD NOISE, aka Eric Wood’s ever evolving ex-MAN IS THE BASTARD/CHARRED REMAINS band, this time taking on Aimee from L.A., of PROGERIA fame. She (wo)manned the noise devices and added screams. Wood and Connoly on their respective bass and drums. I think she had some kind of crazy glowing LED ring/noise device? The band itself took forever to set up and lethargy set in… also the couple dry humping behind me didn’t help, but I was ready to cut and run for the 1 a.m. bus. Had a good wait for the bus, ran into two really nice folks from Dublin, and heard about their travels to the fest and what things are like in Ireland.

Really and truly this fest was mission accomplished. Cheap flight out there, free place to stay (much thanks to Javad, Sarah, and George for putting up with Ziggy and myself), much vegan food was eaten, new friends were made (nice to meet you Marco from Fedup, Mike from HOD, Sir Scotty Karate, Sergio from ACxDC, nice Dubliners, a girl named Paris from PDX, etc.), old friends were high-fived, there were new people for me to hate on as well (no names mentioned), and just a huge thanks to Jeff, Athena, and of course Chris for doing an awesome zine that spans ten years and will continue hopefully at least another ten. I highly encourage you to check out the 10 year anniversary zine + 10″… it is a good read despite an unfortunate slew of errors in spelling and duplicated content… think they might have had to push this out faster than normal for the show. Until next time, fine MRR people, don’t think I’ll have anything as epic to talk about until maybe the Dropdead/Magrudergrind show in DC, and then of course Chaos in Tejas. Until next time — distort Berkeley, distort Raleigh!

Wow, what a show! Natural Law/
Dystrophy/Trapper/Dethroned Emporer/Burma

January 4th, 2011 by

Wow, what a show! is brought to you again this week by Will Butler of To Live A Lie Records / Fastcore Photos. But why let him hog all the glory? If you take photos and like to write about punk shows (or if you and a friend wanna team up to do this) drop us a line at with a sample review and pics, and maybe you too can be a MRR shitblogger!

Parking lot after the show

Perfect timing for a slightly out of town show… I had Friday off for New Years so a show an hour away wasn’t a stretch. This was originally going to be in a Raleigh basement but due to some roommate issues it got moved to a Greensboro show space called CFBG. Word is that the place is a dance studio, and it had some cool artwork up. Appears to be a business where the owner is nice enough to have bands come play.

Matt White of Burma (photo by Will Butler)

Technical difficulties caused a short delay… I think a PA needed to be brought or found or set up and a large bass cab was set up for vocals.  BURMA went on shortly after. They share members across Raleigh and Greensboro so they are a perfect band to have already been booked to play in Raleigh and to also play this night in the other town. They pumped out some jams to room of smiling faces. I think I must have been spoiled by Matt’s antics at their last show when he went off..  tonight he wasn’t as energized and bloody, although a guitar was swung fairly close to his head a few times. There were shouts for a Minor Threat cover but alas no cover. The great thing about Minor Threat is the fact that is really hard to ruin their songs, they are both solid and sloppy, so I always enjoy seeing one covered.

Tom Murphy and Greg Bueno of Dystrophy (photo by Will Butler)

Following Burma was DYSTROPHY. I was really hoping this was the Cali thrash punk band who put out We’re Nice Kids, but it turns out this Dystrophy still rules AND also contains my friend Matt Thompson… quite a pleasant surprise. This Dystrophy is a NJ area death metal band. Lots of riffage which had quite a few people jumping around and getting wild. They played a solid long set and even covered a Death song.

Dethroned Emporer (photo by Will Butler)

This next band I had never heard of before, but based on their look I was highly interested. DETHRONED EMPORER took stage (took floor). The guest vocalist during the Dystrophy set is on drums and their singer as the guy  I noticed wearing a Cryptic Slaughter jacket earlier in the night. His guitar setup was super loud and crunchy on sound check. Later on I noticed he has two instrument cables coming out of his guitar and each cable was connected to a different head connected to the same stack. I talked to him later as I was super curious and he gave me an overly technical answer that I forget most of, but I know he was running each pickup to a different amp head and he mentioned taking off his volume pot and running 1 Ω out to overdrive the whole rig I believe. The sound of this two piece death metal band was more familiar to me than the previous band, they obviously draw a lot of influence from early grind. They had a few parts containing what I call the mince beat… that really awesome slowed down grind beat that Agathocles is known for.

Lee Milsaps of Trapper (photo by Will Butler)

Second to last band that played was TRAPPER. Their second guitar player was nice and talked to me earlier in the show and I was in kind of a quiet mood so I felt like a douche, so I wanted to make sure to get some good pictures of them. The band hails from Charlotte and the other guitar player helped make the whole show happen at this venue.  Trapper had a definite hardcore sound but did have some darker guitar tone which was crunchy at times and I noticed sludge influence. I spent most of their set trying to get a picture of the singer who wouldn’t slow down… lots of bounding around and bending backwards. Some of this stuff falls off my radar as I write it off as Bridge 9/Converge type jams… in actuality they are  probably more along the lines of Doomrider or Nails… definitely not bad for a local area band.

Natural Law (photo by Will Butler)

The final band is one I had heard so much about but had not actually heard, NATURAL LAW. The fine folks from Double Negative talked about them in high regards and Ira wouldn’t shut up about their Slump EP, so I was excited to see them. The band shares members with Black Kites and seems to be a scattered New England/DC crowd. Their bass player lives with two members of Deathrats I later found out. The band played non-stop hardcore jams that definitely gives a nod to Double Negative but with its own originality. I think this is where my ability to describe music drops off. You really should just track down their demo or 7″, not many people will be disappointed.