[ ISSUE 9 CONTENTS ]
[ GOOD CITIZEN HOME | BIG HEAVY WORLD HOME ]
Middlebury High School senior Alex Mayer hits the Burlington club scene and reports on the action. This issue, Alex's last column, he raves about the Implants, the Skamaphrodites and more great bands.
There have been quite a few shows hapening this spring in the Queen City. Here's a run-down of a few of them:
On May 23 the Skamaphrodites played a show with a bunch of hardcore bands at 242 Main. In Reach, from Brattleboro, played first. Their positive, emo-core music speaks out against violence, false imagery and other wrongs in the world. "Advertisement Incubus" and "Pedestal" have similar messages to some Five Seconds Expired songs. Their set also included a Minor Threat cover. Bullroarer and Anodine, two noise-core bands from Boston, also played. These bands just played a whole bunch of noise with incomprehensible vocals that weren't very musical or original.
The Skamaphrodites got everybody up and skankin', though. They played many songs from their debut CD, including "Highway Girl," "Bob Banon," and "Drunk Again." They also played some great tunes such as "Stop Sign of Spring (90210)," the Simpsons ode "Sideshow Bob," and the latin-infested track "Jose Cuervo."
This is a group of young, talented musicians who have finally brought a little bit of rude to the Queen City and gotten us all skankin'! In Reach played again at the teen center on June 15 with 78 Days, Brother's Keeper, Holdstrong and Never Again. 78 Days played a great set of brutal hard core. Their set included "Passer By," "Closure," and "Empty Frame" which had a pounding, rolling drumbeat with distortion filled guitar lines.
Brother's Keeper, from Erie, PA, kicked ass. Their heavy, bass driven sound rocked along with the howling vocalist. They played new songs such as "The Hardcore Song," and "Lollipop" from their upcoming album, and old faves such as "The Continuum," and "2 Dollar Bill." Local hard-rockers
Never Again played a rockin', but much too short a set, which included "Strength to Prevail," "Moral Obligation" and "Through Bleeding Hands," complete with a bloody nose from Justin, the singer.
On May 17th and 18th, the pioneer ska/reggae group Toots and the Maytals came to the reggae lovin' Queen City. They played some great ska/reggae tunes that had everyone on their feet, including "True Love Is Hard to Find," "Higher," and "Do the Reggae." They also played a new tune called "What Will You Do?" which had a cool honky-tonk piano line, and a cover of "Country Roads," Jamaican style! They also played favorite classics like "Pomps and Pride" and "Bam Bam." An excellent show that packed the club both nights!
On May 22, Club Toast was taken over by the radio station 99.9 The Buzz, six high school bands, and a horde of pre-pubescent kids. This was 99.9 The Buzz's Homebrew Hour High School Band Search battle of the bands. These mostly junior-high and younger high school kids came in support of The Hitmen (from St. Johnsbury), Kallit Molly (from CVU), Padiddle (from Burlington), KS Smash (from Spaulding), The Implants (from Essex), and Adrenaline (from St. Albans).
I missed the first three bands, I heard that the Hitmen were a good ska band, and that people got really excited about Kallit Molly. But here's what I saw: KS Smash was ska-punk, with a little bit of Oi! thrown in. Their drummer/vocalist sounds a lot like Tim Armstrong of Rancid. Many of the influences, like NOFX, Blink-182 and Propagandhi, can be heard in their music.
The Implants played an impressive set of pop-punk/grunge, with a female vocalist, who had incredible power in her voice. Some of their influences inlcuded 7 Year Bitch and Zola Turn, who the band says "have been really nice to us."
Adrenaline, the band who isn't trying to change the world, just play good muisc, did just that. They played a power-pop/punk blend with audible influences from Bush and Nirvana. The coolest part about these boys from St. Albans, their 11 year old drummer, Chris, who told me that their favorite local band is Broken Lotus. And the winner was...The Implants. I'm glad, too. They had a spark of originality and a lot of feeling in their music, especially their singer.
Now to Club Toast After Hours, where on that same night, Big Heavy World and 99.9 The Buzz hosted an Indie-Festation with local bands Chin Ho! and Zola Turn, and Subb from Montreal, making the U.S. debut.
Zola Turn played to a packed house of kids sticking around from the Battle of the Bands. I was a little dissapointed. To me it seemed that most of the people there were seeing Zola Turn based purely on the one or two songs they had heard on the Buzz. And while that is a great thing, it seemed that they were'nt really true fans. Zola played all the crowd faves "Bullet Proof Vest," "Racecar Driver," and "Angels," but skipped some of the prettier tuines such as "Social Obligation," and "These Days."
Next up was Chin Ho!. They played tunes from the new CD, including "Low Flying Planes," "When Everything Explodes," and "Incoherent." They also brought out some oldies such as "Strong Street" and the live staple "World."
Subb played a good set of ska/punk, throwing in a few Operation Ivy covers. Unfortunately, after Chin Ho! the club cleared, and Subb made their US debut to about 20 people. Oh well.
Chin Ho! played again on June 12 with DysFunkShun and Chainsaws and Children. The Ho! played an excellent set, which included the new tune "Used to Be," as well as "Clouds," "Vincent's Head," "Drive By," and "Susan Upstairs." The Ho!'s had (sic) guitarist Max Owre on lead guitar that night, and the man smoked.
DysFunkshun's set was kick-ass good and had the small, intimate crowd dancin' hard all night long. They played tunes from their new CD Gravy as well as some old tunes such as "Jump In."
Chainsaws and Children played an amusing blend of industrial rap-core which was hard to really take seriously sometimes. They did have kids on stage with chainsaws and that was pretty cool, but otherwise, I thought their set was too long and too loud.
Alex Mayer was a senior at Middlebury Union High School. Next Fall he will attend Earlham College in Richmond, IN. Now a short word from the man who has hit the pits all these many months: I have truly enjoyed working for Good Citizen this year and have always held the Burlington Music Scene close to my heart. I will miss the scene while I am at Earlham but will always remember it, and will never leave it behind for good. See y'all later. Rockity Rock on!
[ TOP OF PAGE ]
GOOD CITIZEN MAGAZINE
P.O. Box 5373
Burlington, Vermont 05402-5373
Phone: (802) 660-8200
Brought to you on the Web by BIG HEAVY WORLD